I’ve been hearing about this book for almost two years now, so I was pretty scared of it. Honestly, though, it deserves all the recognition it has got...moreI’ve been hearing about this book for almost two years now, so I was pretty scared of it. Honestly, though, it deserves all the recognition it has gotten! I love Veronia’s storytelling, and her way with words. She has written some beautiful passages and thought-provoking one-liners. I love Tris and Four, I love all the action and emotions, and I am SO excited to see what happens next!
Renegade is an amazing dystopia, and the start of an intoxicating series. These people live in a glass structure at the bottom of the sea. Who needs w...moreRenegade is an amazing dystopia, and the start of an intoxicating series. These people live in a glass structure at the bottom of the sea. Who needs wallpaper when you’ve got whales swimming past you? It’s absolutely beautiful, even though it is hiding a very creepy world inside. I can’t wait for the next book (seriously, can I have it?), so I can continue reading about Evelyn and Gavin. Definitely try this if you’re a fan of dystopia. It does not disappoint.
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)
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)
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)
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!
When I think of Cress, I have a very hard time containing the love I have for it. Cress is the most creative Rapunzel retelling I have read in my enti...moreWhen I think of Cress, I have a very hard time containing the love I have for it. Cress is the most creative Rapunzel retelling I have read in my entire life. Marissa’s writing is flawless. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of growth in her since Cinder, and I am so proud of her. Oh, and Thorne. Be still my heart. And Wolf! I have so much love for Cress, and can’t imagine Marissa Meyer topping this one. She has proven to us before, though, that she can and she will.
Visit me at ThatArtsyReaderGirl.com for my full review: Cress(less)
**I received this book free through netgalley. The following review is full of my honest opinion...more(Originally posted at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl)
**I received this book free through netgalley. The following review is full of my honest opinions, and was not influenced by netgalley at all.**
I really loved this book! Ever since I read The Hunger Games, I've been devouring dystopian novels. I honestly never thought I'd find one I liked as much, but this one came pretty close. The story was extremely exciting and had me hooked within a few pages. I became quickly invested in the story and the characters, and fell off the face of the Internet until I finished!
Aria's world is crazy. These Realms take her and her people, The Dwellers, anywhere in time and in space that they wish to visit--from medieval encounters with the knights of the roundtable, to mysterious forests, to the Paris Opera House. All they have to do is think, and they are transported there. It's all marketed as being real, but so much better. They live in domed pods with white ceilings, and never see the sky. The outside world is filled with deadly diseases, savages, and cannibals. Nobody wants to go out there, but Aria (named for her lovely singing voice) is forced out there after being blamed for a crime she didn't commit. When she runs across Perry, she's in desperate need of help to survive and return home to find her mother who has become unreachable at her scientific research lab miles away. Perry also desperately needs her help, as his nephew has been abducted by her people. A very unlikely duo sets out on a treacherous journey in search of a way to beat the odds.
My favorite character is Perry. He's very dynamic, with lots of layers that are slowly peeled off throughout the story. His back story has lots of interesting details, and I grew to find him completely captivating. His ability to sense what a person is feeling has made him extremely mature and sensitive. It has also caused him to care very deeply for people. Even though Aria is his enemy, he can't block out her feelings of pain and sorrow over the possible loss of her mother. He tries so hard to stay away, but can't help himself from trying to console and understand her. Aria sees him as a dirty savage, but softens as she realizes that he is just as capable of loving and losing someone as she is. As they begin to recognize that they're both human and are both going through the same thing even though they come from different worlds, their hearts are softened towards one another and a special bond forms. Aria's pretty strong, considering she was exiled from the only world she knew and thrown into a disease-ridden wasteland, ravaged by cannibals and deadly electric storms. She learns a lot about herself in this story, including where she came from, her powerful desire to survive, her ability to handle scary situations, the gift of her voice, and her desire to love. I liked her, but not as much I liked Perry and his best friend, Roar, who tags along mid-journey and becomes a character you grow to adore. Another character I was surprised to grow attached to was Cinder, an orphaned boy who's a lot more special than he realizes.
The writing was mesmerizing. I was totally immersed in the vivid descriptions of the land, the Aether (which made me picture the magnificent skies of Vincent van Gogh even before the author mentioned Starry Night), the advanced, limitless technology, the Realms and their virtual worlds, and even the pungent smells of the cannibals (ick!). Perry's inner struggle with feeling the feelings of others was beautifully written. The author explains his interpretations so well, that it's like a window has been opened to his mind. I could feel and understand Aria's fear when she was dropped in the Death Shop. It can be hard to write emotion, but Rossi did a wonderful job. I could feel the love as it grew between Perry and Aria. Nothing was forced or instant, just believable. I could feel Cinder's inner confusion and Roar's sense of mischief and humor. It was like I was there, along for the journey. I'm so sad the book is over! I can't wait to rejoin my friends in book #2, with a pretty vague release date of 2013.
I would definitely recommend this to futuristic dystopian lovers who enjoy action and sweet, innocent romance. I'm so proud of this 2012 debut author! Her first book is amazing, and I know it will only get better from here!
Reviews of Cinder are storming the blogosphere right now, in anticipation of today's release...moreOriginally posted on my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl
Reviews of Cinder are storming the blogosphere right now, in anticipation of today's release date! They are everywhere! I'm jumping on the "Cinder-lovers" bandwagon and seriously have no idea how to approach this review. Haha! My thoughts feel so unorganized and are conflicting with one another. What can I say that will make my review different? So many people have already covered everything. Oh well! Here goes!
Last year with my first grade class (I taught reading and phonics to a 1st grade class while their other teacher did small group tutoring), we had a fairy tale week and I spent the week reading them different Cinderella picture books. We had a zombie Cinderella, and an Indian Cinderella... and a very modern spin on the story. The kids LOVED it. At the end of the week, we wrote and illustrated our very own Cinderella story called, "Mrs. Bellarella and Miss Janarella." (I'm Miss Jana, obviously. Mrs. Bell was their other teacher.) The story was absolutely hilarious. Needless to say, I'm pretty familiar with Cinderella, and I was pretty excited to hear about a more "grown-up" retelling. I thought that cyborgs and androids were pushing the envelope a little too far, though. I was SO wrong! I loved how Cinder tied in all the elements of the original story, but put a modern sci-fi spin on it! And even though we're talking about a dystopian society with cyborgs and aliens, Cinder was still a completely magical fairy tale. :)
I loved Marissa Meyer's writing style, and very creative imagination! The world she created left me with no questions. The detailed descriptions of the scenery, futuristic mechanics and medicine, people, etc. were captivating to read. I got totally lost. I loved Cinder's character. She's a tom-boy mechanic, and has grease stains all over her ALL the time. Her idea of getting dressed up is putting on a shiny new foot, not a glass slipper. She's spunky, and realistic. She sticks up for herself when it counts, and is not afraid of anything! I pretty much adore the fact that she's always got her head on straight. Perhaps her internal programming is what keeps her grounded, but she just gets it. She knows what needs to be done, no matter what, and she does it! She lets nothing cloud her judgement. You go, girl! Her quirky android friend/assistant, Iko, is hilarious. She's a machine, but there's some kind of glitch in her that makes her more human than most androids. I was enthralled by their story, and really loved reading about their latest projects and schemes.
Prince/Emperor Kai is a little... eh right now. Don't get me wrong, I like him. It's just that as the male lead in the story, we don't know much about him. His conversations with Cinder are mostly small talk, with a few intimate details shared every once in a while. Perhaps he'll become more rounded in the next three books. I do appreciate that there's no insta-love. They both know that there's a connection, but they're not going crazy about it. Meyer is giving them time to develop their relationship, which we will hopefully be able to see in the next books.
My favorite parts were the hidden Cinderella details, and the awesome futuristic settings and technology. Oh, and the ending is pretty breathtaking as well. Twists and turns keep you guessing until the last sentence. I would have enjoyed seeing a little more character development in Kai. Right now, I'm not seeing what Cinder sees in him. Also, the story takes place in New Beijing, but I never would have known if it had not been continually mentioned. I would have liked more Chinese cultural elements, even futuristic ones. Finally, the ending was a bit too rushed for me, and then I fell off a cliff all of a sudden. I'm hanging by a thread here, wondering how the ending snuck up on me so fast!
Regardless of my tidbits of constructive criticism, I can't deny how much I loved the story. Sometimes we have to make allowances and just enjoy the ride, forgetting what we would have preferred. Plus, I'm trying to remember that there's 3 more books in the series! Marissa has plenty of time to turn Emperor Kai into Prince Charming. She has plenty of time to explain more details to me. I kind of like the mystery I've been left with. If we were given too much with this book, the others would end up being fluff. I'm sad I have to wait so long for Scarlet (Book #2). I guess that's the downside of getting ARCs: more time to wait for the next one! Haha!(less)
**Originally posted at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl**
Beware: This book did crazy things to me. I went through every single emotion, and as I write...more**Originally posted at my blog, That Artsy Reader Girl**
Beware: This book did crazy things to me. I went through every single emotion, and as I write this review I know I will probably fan-girl, keyboard smash, get mad, get excited, swoon a little, want to hung someone, sigh, and probably write and re-write it numerous times before pressing the "publish" button. Phew! Here goes!
1. Ahhhhhhhhh! I KNOW!!!! I FINALLY took the time to read this book. I know, right? Jana, this book came out in FEBRUARY. Jana, Delirium nearly pushed you over the edge. I KNOW! Why did I wait so long!? The torture. This book is amazing. AMAZING. I'm, like, the last person in the world to read this, so I don't really see a reason to work at summarizing it. Just know: it's amazing. I usually hate the middle book in a trilogy. Most "trilogies" should not be trilogies, as book number 2 is usually a lackluster bridge to the final book. Not so with Pandemonium! Maybe I waited so long to read this because I was worried we'd have another "New Moon" or "Catching Fire"? I don't know. READ THIS!!
2. After my first "point", I've come to realize that this review may not be as organized as I had hoped.
3. I think another reason I waited so long to read this is because I just KNEW Lauren Oliver would try to kill me again. I knew she'd mess with my emotions and stir up all these questions inside of me before throwing me off a cliff and making me wait for a YEAR to find out what's going to happen next!!! And you know what? I was RIGHT. I need to stop reading her books on a cruise ship.
4. I actually closed the book and mumbled "cliffhanger" over and over again, in a sort of glazed over stupor. My sister died of laughter.
5. I realize I'm not telling you much about the book itself, but that's because 1. You've read it, since I'm the last person in the world to have done so. 2. If you haven't read it yet, it's because you have not read Delirium yet (because if you've read Delirium, why would you wait THIS long like me?) and I don't want to spoil anything for you. 3. My thoughts are not terribly organized, clearly. Anyway, my next point will get more specific, so quit reading here if reason 2 in this point (you have not read Delirium yet... or Pandemonium, I suppose) applies to you.
6. Leena has transformed from this scared little girl to a confident, rebellious, determined, strong person. Her entire life became almost pointless at the end of Delirium, and she fled to the Wilds to try and start a new life... without Alex. She yearns for him always, just like I do. WHERE IS ALEX!?! I'm loving the new Leena.
7. Leena's new friends/family in the Wilds are very interesting to read about, especially when we get to learn the reasons they are in the Wilds now. I like all of them.
8. Of course, Lauren Oliver's writing is as stunningly heartwrenching (and heartwarming at the same time) as always. I love, LOVE her writing style. I particularly enjoyed the layout of this book. The chapters alternate between "then" and "now", so there are absolutely no gaps between the end of Delirium and the beginning of Pandemonium. This also helped me remember what happened in Delirium, because as we all know by now... I waited way too long (so much longer than necessary) to read this.
9. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I went through every single emotion. This book is a roller coaster that you never want to end. And then when it does, it shoves you back into your chair with a force greater than gravity itself. I was scared, I was thrilled, I was happy, sad, excited, confused, mad, devastated, etc. SO many questions are floating around in my head.
10. I waited over a month to write this review, hoping I'd be able to eloquently explain my thoughts and organize my feelings. Haha. Clearly, that is not going to happen. :P This book gives me high blood pressure.
All in all, AMAZING. I love Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver, and Leena. I can not WAIT for Requiem. I vow to read it the day it comes out, rather than wait 2-3 months like I did this time. You really must jump on the bandwagon if you haven't. The hype is real. (less)