Falling for Christmas was a cute, lighthearted read, perfect for this time of year. Hannah and Sam are two likable characters whom I wanted to see endFalling for Christmas was a cute, lighthearted read, perfect for this time of year. Hannah and Sam are two likable characters whom I wanted to see end up falling in love.
While Hannah and Sam are total opposites on the outside - Hannah's a sophisticated city girl and Sam is a country boy - they actually share a lot in common. Both have had their hearts broken by relationships that didn't work out, both have moms who weren't there when they needed them, and both are lonely. Overwhelmingly lonely.
When Hannah feels cautious about accepting Sam's offer to stay with him, her feelings made the story so believable because I'd feel the same way. But she realizes she doesn't have another choice - her car is stuck with no hope of getting it out of the snow that night, there are no hotels, and the snow isn't stopping anytime soon. She even has second thoughts when they pull up to his house, and I felt that moment of panic along with her.
Sam is sort of gruff at times, and you can understand why when you learn about what happened during his childhood. I could see Hannah's liveliness slowly melt away Sam's tough exterior. It was a joy to watch them grow fond of one another, and I was pulling for them to find a way to make a relationship work!
I flew through Falling for Christmas and didn't want it to be over. I love stories where a couple ends up snowed in together over Christmas. Love it! I'm not sure what the next book in the series will entail, but I'm definitely going to read it when it comes out!
I received a copy of this book for an honest review from the publisher via Netgalley.
After reading the first sentence of Eleanor's Gift, I thought, my God, Sousa's writing is beautiful! And it's not the kind of writing that's just beauAfter reading the first sentence of Eleanor's Gift, I thought, my God, Sousa's writing is beautiful! And it's not the kind of writing that's just beautiful for the sake of beauty without going anywhere - no, the story is enriched and propelled forward by it. The characters are richly drawn and come to life on the pages, and you can imagine what they would be like in real life.
There is a subtle sense of horror underlying the events that happen in Eleanor's Gift, a creepiness that you can't outright define, an insidious danger lying in wait. At first, I thought the mysterious stranger was walking into danger at the hands of her rescuers, but then I began to sense that there was something mysterious and indefinable about her. She's found with strange marks on her neck, and I couldn't wait to find out how she was the only survivor and where those marks came from.
Sousa is a master at weaving a Gothic tale and leaving you satisfied though Eleanor's Gift is a short story. If you tend to shy away from short stories, I really think you should pick this one up because it's exactly the way a story should be set up and told.
I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
Good thing I ignored the cover for A Very Country Christmas because the writing was fab. For me, this cover doesn't exactly scream, "Read me!" I mean,Good thing I ignored the cover for A Very Country Christmas because the writing was fab. For me, this cover doesn't exactly scream, "Read me!" I mean, the dog is cute and looks exactly like mine, but what's up with the underwear on a hanger??
The title didn't sound like something I'd want to read, but I chose to ignore that, too. I'm so glad I read it! This novella is like a hidden gem, and even though this is the first book in the series that I've read, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything I needed to know. I will, however, be reading the other books because I love these characters and can't get enough of them!
Lottie's Christmas gets crazy when her dinner for two plans turn into a party for ten! She's sweet and lovable, plus she's kind of klutzy just like me. She hasn't cooked much, and I was so nervous for her to cook for this many people on such a big holiday.
Lottie's boyfriend, Rory, proposed to her a while ago but has yet to give her a proper engagement ring, mostly because of money. She dreams of spending time with him for Christmas, just the two of them, but she ends up inviting more and more people. It was so cute and funny. She's a very giving person. Lottie won't admit it to herself, but she really does want that engagement ring.
Rory, how I love thy name! (If you're a Doctor Who fan, you'll understand why I love that name so much!) He's so sweet and funny. This was just a really funny story that had me laughing out loud many times with Lottie and Rory's hi-jinks.
I have to admit I'm jealous of Lottie's family and how much fun they had drinking together and having fun. Even when things go awry as they were inevitably heading that way, they still have a great time.
I'm hooked on Lottie and Rory - love them together and want to read more of their story! I highly recommend you check this story out. It's FREE as of this posting!
It's taken me way too long to read a novel by Mia Hoddell! Her books have been on my TBR for a long time, and now that I've read Not Enough, I'm doublIt's taken me way too long to read a novel by Mia Hoddell! Her books have been on my TBR for a long time, and now that I've read Not Enough, I'm doubly excited to get started reading more of her work.
Not Enough's synopsis called out to me - I'm an introvert and have felt the effects of others not understanding what that truly means, although not to the extent the main character, Neve, feels. I believe there's a spectrum when it comes to determining whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. Rather than someone being 100% introverted or 100% extroverted, we fall somewhere on the spectrum, with some of us closer to one end or the other while still others fall somewhere in the middle.
I fall closer to the introvert end of the spectrum, but there are situations where I can identify with being an extrovert. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty in the case of Neve, her character is probably an extreme case of introversion. The way people in her life treated her was abysmal, especially her own mother. Thank God she had Blake, whom I'll get to in a moment.
Cece is briefly introduced in the beginning, and wow, what a piece of work she is! Cece says things I would never say to someone who's supposedly my friend, and I couldn't understand why Neve bothered with her. Possibly low self esteem, which Neve definitely struggled with. Let me list the ways in which Cece is a TERRIBLE person!
1. Encourages Neve to drink alcohol until she's trashed 2. Encourages Neve to pick a random guy for sex 3. Berates Neve when Neve doesn't do exactly what she wants her to do 4. Doesn't care about Neve's safety or well being AT ALL
I could go on.
Cece does the opposite of slut shaming to Neve. I didn't know there was such a thing. And I couldn't believe when the words, "You should have wanted it. Everyone else would have," fell from Cece's lips. REALLY??? Wow...just wow... I probably would've decked her.
Even sadder? Neve's mom basically encourages those same things.
The thing is, Neve envies people who can let loose and have fun, in a safe way of course. I envy those people, too. I'd love to go to a club and dance like no one's watching. That sounds like a lot of fun to me. Like Neve, I worry about being laughed at, which doesn't sound like a big deal even if it happened, but for people like me and Neve, it would crush us. It's a legitimate fear that causes her to freeze up.
Blake is the bright spot in Neve's life. Man, when I say he's there for her, he's REALLY there for her! We all need a little more Blake in our lives. The chapters alternate between Neve's POV and Blake's POV, and I really liked knowing what he was thinking. It helped flesh out his character and made him more realistic, plus I fell just a bit more in love with him hearing his thoughts and feelings.
As for the huge secret Neve's been shouldering, I can understand why she wouldn't want to share that. People don't react well to something like that, especially if they've never been through it. There's a huge stigma, which is sad because then the people who need help don't always get it because their fears outweigh their hope.
Not Enough is a well-told, heartbreaking story that delivers a punch to the gut and makes you fervently wish for Neve's hope to outweigh her. You'll root for Blake and Neve to see what they have in each other and that the beauty of their friendship could bloom into so much more.
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review. You can find more of my reviews at my blog, Donnie Darko Girl. ...more
I've been fascinated by Buddhism as soon as we learned about the religion in high school. I took a few classes on it in college, and I don't think I'vI've been fascinated by Buddhism as soon as we learned about the religion in high school. I took a few classes on it in college, and I don't think I've come across a book where the main character is Buddhist, so I jumped at the chance to read MY BUDDHIST CHRISTMAS. I really wanted to see what it would be like around Christmastime for someone who isn't Christian.
Most of my family are Christian. We celebrate Christmas with all of the traditions that go along with it. While I've tried to imagine how people of the Jewish or Islamic faiths must feel living in the U.S. around Christmastime, I've never thought about Buddhists, so this book called to me, begging to be read!
There aren't too many young adult novels with a male lead character, especially one with a good head on his shoulders like Chris. He's so likable, and I could relate with him in some ways - feeling like you're too uptight and missing out on fun when what your friends are doing doesn't feel quite right to you, wanting to do something you love to do, and just navigating through the pressures of being a teenager and a high school student. And his loss...I could identify with his grief.
I felt protective of him, especially when the parents of the girl he likes didn't think he was good enough for her. I did think Mary invited him a bit soon to meet her parents, though. I mean, they hang out one time after school, and then she invites him to a pre-Christmas dinner the next week to meet them! I don't think I would have said no either if it was someone I had a crush on...I'm pretty bad at saying no...but with Christmas coming up, I thought it was pretty brave of Chris to take that challenge on. That's another reason I felt so protective of him.
And wow, Chris's band mates annoyed me. I couldn't believe how they kept putting off practicing their music. Surely there had to be some better girls or guys to be in the talent show with?? They seemed to know nothing about Chris, nor did they try to know anything him. Yep, I was definitely feeling protective of Chris.
MY BUDDHIST CHRISTMAS does an excellent job of showing what it's like to be Buddhist, better than any textbook I've ever read or could ever hope to read. That's exactly what I was looking for when I dove into Chris's story. Though it isn't quite Halloween yet, it was a perfect book to get a head start on some holiday reading. I love reading books that take place around Christmas, and I love learning about Buddhism, so it was a win-win for me. You won't learn the entire religion in one book, but you'll be able to understand it in a practical way of what it might be like to live day to day as a Buddhist. Five stars for MY BUDDHIST CHRISTMAS all the way! :D
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You can find more of my reviews at my blog, Donnie Darko Girl. ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
You know how there are boI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
You know how there are books with gorgeous covers that immediately attract your attention, so you check out the synopsis, and you're like, I've gotta read this book! It sounds too awesome to miss! And you're so excited, you even forget how beautiful the cover is because you're looking forward to diving inside to the story?
That's how IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH was for me. I couldn't wait to dive into the meat of this story. Could. Not. Wait. I had all kinds of scenarios I was imagining, and it was exciting. Really and truly exciting. Plus, I love to see how authors imagine the afterlife to be. It's always interesting and never disappointing.
So in IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH, popular girl RJ dies before her time because she's accidentally touched by a Grim Reaper, and as you can imagine, she's super pissed. Though she's a brat, I actually liked her snark and couldn't help but laugh at her attitude. Sure, she's self-entitled and stuck up and desperate to retain her popularity, but she's also very real. There are people like her out there (I know, right?!), and I actually found myself rooting for her.
I wrote this status update when I began reading the book: I'm only 14% in so far, & I love it so much! It's so funny and snarky and adorable!
There were things I liked about IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH, and things I didn't like. As I mentioned, I liked RJ quite a bit. One thing that bothered me was how Death was called "Death Himself" every time he was mentioned, although I ended up getting used to it. I understood why he was referred to that way the first time, but after that I thought it was unnecessary.
I wanted more from the moments where RJ was to go back in for a do-over. Those moments didn't last long enough for me, and it seemed almost too easy for RJ to change her thinking and thus change her future. People don't change overnight, so I wish more time had been spent on RJ's transformation because I loved seeing her change. I think time spent on the trial could have been better spent on RJ's moments back in time fixing what she didn't get right the first time around.
It was refreshing to have a story that didn't revolve around a romance. There are touches of romance in IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH, but it isn't the crux of the story. I really appreciated that.
The ending was really surprising! I wasn't expecting it to end the way it did. This isn't to say I didn't like it. I'm not disappointed at all - I think it was a fitting end, I just didn't see it coming. It caught me off guard, which is a good thing. I like not being able to predict things in books.
Overall, I recommend IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH for anyone who loves a good story with redemption and exploration of life, death, and what it all means....more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
I know I'm going to soundI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
I know I'm going to sound like a broken record, but characters who deal with crippling grief draw me in like a moth to a flame. And good lord, that synopsis! What fate could be worse than death?? What's the plan? STEPPING STONES sounds like a contemporary with possibly a supernatural element in there somewhere. I knew I NEEDED to read this book!
I like that Onna was weirded out by Everett knowing her name before they officially met. That was so realistic to me, and I'd wonder how some guy knew my name, too. Sure, I'd think he was cute, but I'd still think, okay, that's weird. So there's no instalove, but there's an attraction that Onna denies and kind of fights because so many other things are going on in her life right now.
Onna just doesn't have time for it. Her parents are divorcing and her brother just died, so these two major life changes are what she has to focus on working through. I loved it when Onna brought her friend Hunter back to the topic of her parents divorcing when Hunter veered off course to discussing Everett. Hunter is a great friend, though. She's a lot of fun and there for Onna through thick and thin. You need a friend who's fun to be around whether you're going through a lot of crap or not.
I liked Everett quite a bit, too. He honestly didn't strike me as creepy as you might think since he somehow knew Onna's name before they met. It's almost like he can read her mind and knew what she needed when she needed it. Wouldn't that be a great to have someone like him around? Not a mind reader, but someone who senses what you need the most, especially your emotional needs, I mean, wow.
The car accident that took the life of Onna's brother about killed me. So. Many. Feels. I couldn't believe the way it happened, and wait until you read that scene! It was even sadder than I thought it could possibly be. As a mother of two young children, I already think about how fragile life is, and you never know when it's your time to go. STEPPING STONES explores this truth in depth, and you'll want to hug your friends and family and tell them how much you love them after reading this. Five stars all the way! ...more
The Trouble with Playing Cupid is a cute and sweet story that you can read in one sitting. December is a successful singer with a heart of gold. I LOVThe Trouble with Playing Cupid is a cute and sweet story that you can read in one sitting. December is a successful singer with a heart of gold. I LOVE December! I found her non-divaness refreshing, and she donates a lot of money to charities. She uses her fame and money to help others, and that endeared her to me for life.
Tom is a British actor and a total heartthrob. I wasn't quite rooting for a romance between the two at first because during the appearance on Trace Randall's show, Tom seemed a little bit like a jerk and too aloof for my liking. Does he not pay attention to who other people are? He didn't even know who December is! I'm pretty sure IRL British actors know American celebrities. They mix. They mingle. I was kind of like, "How dare you, Tom!" See how much I love December??
"When he played the role of a self-indulgent vampire..." = best line ever! I laughed so hard when I read that about Tom! Kind of sounds like a Lestat-type character.
When I realized there's more to Tom than what he shows on camera, I was on board for him to get together with December. I liked the buildup to their romance, and it was very sweet.
The Trouble with Playing Cupid had me laughing, swooning, and cringing - sometimes all three at the same time. I ended up loving the characters, especially December's bodyguard and stylist. There was more telling than showing sometimes, but it's a short read, so I think it was in order to give background on the characters. I thought The Trouble with Playing Cupid was a standalone going in, but once I found out there's a sequel, I'm looking forward to finding out more about December's best friend and agent, Clarissa.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
I think THE BODY INSTITUTI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
I think THE BODY INSTITUTE is a brilliant idea for a story. Doesn't it sound like a magical cure for all those extra pounds a person would want to shed? But this being a sci-fi story, you just know there's something insidious about this "fix" for obesity, especially thinking about transplanting someone into another body in order to achieve the desired results. *shudders*
I can't lie - I'd love for someone to temporarily take over my body and whip it into shape for me. But what about the girl who does it? Would my feelings about her well-being cause me to change my mind? It's not an easy answer because the solution is so tempting.
THE BODY INSTITUTE takes place in the future, and in this future, junk food is heavily taxed. If you're overweight, you pay more taxes, too. The more weight you keep on and the longer you keep it on, the more money you have to pay. Everyone has to be weighed in every so often, which is how the government tracks who's taking care of their bodies and who is not.
Morgan is a Reducer - she's one of the teens who take over the body of an overweight teen and works out until the desired number of pounds is lost. She has to eat healthy and exercise A LOT. Not only is this interesting in itself - it would have been plenty to read about - but there's even more to the plot when Morgan can't remember what she did or said during the time she's in the Loaner body.
Plus there's the parents of the girl whose body Morgan is responsible for getting in shape - they're rich, and the mother looks at Morgan with disgust. I thought it could have been how she looked at her overweight daughter AND looking at her daughter's body, knowing there's someone else in there. I had a feeling they weren't going to be getting along and looked forward to the conflict that was sure to come.
There's so many ethical issues to take into consideration when thinking about this story, and I can see junk food being taxed one day. I can see people who are overweight paying more taxes. That's what made THE BODY INSTITUTE so eerie - I could see it all happening. What if we could transplant someone's mind into someone else's body for a while? Who are we as the human race? Are we just a collection of processes taking place in the brain, or are we more than that?
Morgan's grandfather raised a great point about being human - he tells Morgan she'd be a different person if she had been born in a different body. She'd have a different personality and wouldn't be the same person as who she is today. I think that's absolutely true. A lot of who we are is influenced by things like our body shape, hair color, eye color, skin color. Look at how human beings treat each other differently on outward appearances - especially skin color. People are discriminated against everyday based on their gender or race or age.
THE BODY INSTITUTE explores so many themes - society, body image, body shaming, and even the question of how involved the government should be in the health of its citizens. You can't miss THE BODY INSTITUTE. It's an absolutely brilliant novel that will have you discussing these issues long after you're finished reading! ...more
I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Though I haven't read Eleanor and Park yet, I have read TwiliI received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Though I haven't read Eleanor and Park yet, I have read Twilight, and the thought of those two books meeting together sounded irresistible. Though it says in the synopsis this book is a contemporary romance, I still thought there was going to be a paranormal element like vampires to the story, but there isn't one. I was actually relieved there weren't vampires to be honest.
The Beginning of Never is a novel that may look and sound like it's a typical teenage tale of angst and woe, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Rather, this novel is about working through pain, falling in love for the first time, dreaming of something better, and becoming who you want to be. The characters are realistic and have unique, individual voices, and I loved getting to know them.
I'm drawn to characters who have lost a parent. It's something I have in common with them and am interested in reading how they deal with the loss. At the age of 14, I lost my mom to cancer, and it may seem strange, but I really like reading about characters who have that similar kind of pain to work through. I feel like I'm working through my own right alongside them.
Lenora is angry. Very angry. I know what it's like to feel that way and not know what to do with any of it. Carrying all of that around is exhausting. She's been robbed of years with her mother, who died the day before Lenora's birthday three years ago. She doesn't handle her anger well, to say the least, and when her behavior becomes alarming, her dad sends her away to boarding school. There she meets Alex.
Alex's middle name is Nathan, and that's how Lenora refers to him throughout the book, so I will here, too. Nathan is hot and cold with Lenora, and while I may have rolled my eyes a time or two, I couldn't help thinking some teenage boys really are like that. Their romance develops naturally with some bumps along the way. There's bound to be misunderstandings between two people, even those who seem to be the most in sync, and with Nathan not terribly outspoken about his emotions, it makes it even more likely Lenora would find his behavior difficult to decipher. At times I found his behavior difficult to decipher, too.
I wanted The Beginning of Never to keep on going and never stop. The writing is superb, and the characters were so vividly brought to life, I felt like I really did know them. I love this book like I do a dear friend. This book does end on a cliffhanger, but not to fear - the next installment will be out really soon. And I can't WAIT to get my hands on a copy!! ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
Okay, before I begin talkI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
Okay, before I begin talking about THE LAST NECROMANCER, here's two facts about me: necromancers are super interesting to me, and I can't resist gorgeous covers. I mean, look at that cover! Isn't it ridiculously fantastic??
I find necromancers to be so intriguing, and the title of the book combined with necromancy combined with the lead character living as a male when really she's female had me dying to read this book. Charlotte, who has gone by Charlie to pretend she's a boy, is a character I loved immediately.
In Victorian London, she's cast out of her father's house (by her own father!!) and is forced to live on the streets. Needless to say, during that period of history, living as a girl would have been extremely dangerous for Charlie. It's dangerous enough as a boy, and she's been basically homeless as a child for five years.
I won't lie - that opening scene was a bit horrifying, but probably not for the reason you might be thinking. It would have been worse if the characters knew Charlie is really a girl. But when she learns about the secret organization, the Ministry of Curiosities, whose members want to use her secret talent, there's no going back for her. She has to make a decision whether she's going to work for the organization or not.
The Ministry operates within the government but also a bit separate from it. The fact that Charlie isn't sure if the Ministry is dangerous or not added intrigue to the novel. I looked forward to finding out how it would be revealed Charlie is in fact the girl they've been searching for. I wanted to know how Lincoln Fitzroy, the one who's been searching for Charlie, would react.
My only issue with THE LAST NECROMANCER was the first third of the novel kind of dragged for me. Don't get me wrong, the opening scene grabbed my attention and pulled me in right away, but after that, it slowed down a bit too much until Charlie learns about the secret organization. But then the story picks back up after that.
Overall, I highly recommend THE LAST NECROMANCER. It's definitely a brilliant read, and you'll love Charlie right away. Plus, necromancy! ...more
I can resist a terrific-sounding science fiction story, and one thatI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I can resist a terrific-sounding science fiction story, and one that's YA, too? Yes, yes, and yes! Synthetica is a story that gave me a lot to think about with technology and how it could fit - or not fit - into daily life. There'd be both positives and negatives as with anything. Honestly, I don't think I'd want a chip implanted in my skin with my ID and info all there for just anyone to scan. The thought kind of freaks me out, but on the other hand, it'd be cool not to have to worry about losing my driver's license or something.
I anticipated seeing what Pattinson's vision of the future would be like. Some aspects of Anais' life made me feel jealous while others made me glad I'm not her. I loved that people had such colorful hair! Anais was born with pink hair - her parents chose it. How cool would that be?? But then again, I wouldn't want to be stuck in a job I had no passion for with little to zero chance of moving on to something better. But I knew Anais was strong and if anyone could move upward, it would be her.
Synthetica is well written with plenty of action and a touch of romance. I wasn't quite sold on Anais and Xander's relationship because they seemed to function better as friends than romantic partners in my opinion. Anais and her friend, Dalla, are total opposites, so it was interesting to see their interactions. Sometimes Dalla seemed to be so immersed in her own world that she didn't notice Anais' pain, but I think we all have at least one friend who can be like that, right?
On the plus side, I was anxious to find out what the Hacker was up to and if he'd be found and stopped. I liked the mystery of what he was doing added to the sci-fi. There were times I was shouting (in my mind) to Dalla and Anais not to do what they were about to do. I wouldn't say I was totally attached to the characters, but I still didn't want them to do something dumb.
What drew me to read Synthetica more than anything was the vision of the future as well as the Hacker. There are dystopian elements to this story, although I think Synthetica leans more toward sci-fi than dystopia. The society isn't completely abysmal for people. Places are kept neat and clean, and the citizens didn't seem to be under the heavy-duty control of a dictator-like ruler.
If you're a fan of YA sci-fi with some mystery woven in and like thinking about what society would be like in the future, Synthetica is a book I'd recommend to you. ...more
I received a copy of this audiobook for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Man, I love audiobooks. I'm really into them now, and they makeI received a copy of this audiobook for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Man, I love audiobooks. I'm really into them now, and they make me so happy. If my eyes are tired, I can still immerse myself in a book! Take an exciting story, add a talented narrator, and you have Blades of Magic. Listening to this book made me even more excited about audiobooks as well as the fantasy genre.
Sara pulled me into her story right away. I was mystified by her father's death and wanted to find out what happened to him. Sara's faith in her father was touching, and I trusted her belief that if he was a deserter, he must have had a good reason for it. I loved how kick ass Sara is - it's always thrilling to find out the heroine is strong and self-reliant. She doesn't need to lean on a significant other - she stands tall all on her own.
It took me a while to warm up to Ezekiel, but I ended up liking him quite a lot. The back and forth between Sara and him was a lot of fun to listen to. He reminded me of the kind of character who's really book smart but doesn't have much common sense. I pictured him as Wesley from the TV show, Angel. That's who Ezekiel's character reminded me of right away, and the image stuck in my mind, glasses, hair cut and all.
Ezekiel's disdain for fighters like Sara is evident in the beginning, but once he got to know her, he found out there was much more to her like her honor, faith, and intelligence.
There's plenty of action with a touch of romance in Blades of Magic. I loved the magic, especially the possibility that Sara could become what's known as a beserker - a mage who becomes so immersed in using his/her powers that it overpowers them. That was a scary possibility but also a cool twist to the story.
It took me a little bit of time to get into the story in the beginning. I listened to the first chapter twice, and the second time was pulled in quickly.
Sylvia Roldn Dohi, the narrator for Blades of Magic, had a pleasant voice to listen to and varied her tone accordingly with what was going on in the story. She was in tune with what she was narrating, and it was easy to tell which character was speaking because she also varied her voice for each person.
This was my first Terah Edun book as well as audiobook and certainly won't be my last. I'm looking forward to reading more of this series as well as her other series. ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
Confessions of a Queen B*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
Confessions of a Queen B* was a rollicking ride through high school with Alexis, the Queen Bitch, and I also named her the Queen of Snark. I loved this girl, but man, she had some majorly steep walls up all around her. I was glad to see she had at least two friends. Even if you are going after the popular kids, you still need friends!
After being humiliated in front of the entire school (when you find out how, well, I think you'll agree it was a really messed up thing for someone to do), Alexis decides to get revenge by creating a gossip blog called The Eastline Spy where she outs people who do crappy things. To Alexis, anything and anyone are fair game, including the awful school lunches and one class everyone joked you only had to breathe to get an "A". That class changed after her post on it by the way.
So everyone is terrified of Alexis. She uses that fear to help those who are bullied, which is cool, but she's also not friendly to the victims of bullying. When Alexis and the quarterback, Brett, must partner up in a school project, she's forced to look beyond her stereotypes when she slowly begins to realize Brett isn't the kind of person she thought he was.
He's able to thaw her out a bit - she's pretty icy to him at first - and I loved them working together. Their back-and-forth banter was entertaining and had me laughing. Alexis is a sharp-witted girl, and while I hoped she would stop letting the popular kids get to her, I didn't want her to lose her wittiness. To me, they still must be getting under her skin because otherwise she'd stop her blog, right? Or maybe I'm wrong?
Confessions of a Queen B* is a quick read, and I loved EVERY MOMENT. Alexis's friends reminded me of the friends Lindsay Lohan had in Mean Girls, and they were pretty awesome friends to have. I think Alexis is a tough girl to do what she does, but I also think she could soften up a bit. There are times it's good not to be a bitch, lol. Confessions of a Queen B* is a fun read, and I'm looking forward to grabbing the next book in the series! ...more
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour organized by Diverse Book Tours can be found at Donnie DarkoI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My stop on the blog tour organized by Diverse Book Tours can be found at Donnie Darko Girl.
I'm a bit ashamed to admit this is my first Sarah Ockler book. I own Twenty Boy Summer but just haven't had a chance to read it yet. I would have written that book off as a fluffy romance had I not read glowing reviews from other bloggers. And I'm so glad found those reviews because if I hadn't, then most likely I would have missed out on The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, and that would have been a travesty.
The cover as well as the author drew me to checking out the synopsis. That cover is so beautiful and fits with the story and atmosphere of the book. Ockler's writing is tremendous and gorgeous and just lyrical. I felt like I was reading a poem at times.
I fell in love with Elyse's character right away. Though she can't speak, she stands out the most in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. Until meeting Elyse, I never would have thought about how much we allow our voices to define who we are. Though she sees herself as broken having lost her ability to speak, she was able to find out, albeit under tragic circumstances, that she's so much more than her voice. Her voice was just one part of her identity. It's sad when you realize something like that after you've lost something that was precious to you.
But I didn't look at Elyse with pity - I looked at her with pure admiration. So far from home in a world so different from what she's used to, she does her best to survive day to day. She misses home terribly but also needed to get away from there at the same time. And Elyse is another character I'm drawn to because her mother died, too. She never got to know her, but I know the emptiness left behind from the loss all too well.
I also must admit I had some trepidation about Christian because he's described as a "notorious playboy." I worried his character would end up being stereotypical, but he really surprised me in the best of ways, from the moment he said so calmly, "There's a girl writing on my boat." As if that's an everyday occurrence for him! It was then I knew I was going to like him.
Elyse's "cousin" Kirby and "aunt" Lemon were good for Elyse to be around. I liked both of them, and though Kirby is the opposite of Elyse, I think it was good for Elyse to be around someone so positive and bouncy.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a YA contemporary you can't afford to miss. Perfect to read during summer (or any time of year!), if you've been shying away from contemporary novels, you really should read this one. This novel will change your mind about whether or not to read the genre. Definitely a game-changer. An emotional and often humorous read you'll remember for a long, long time. ...more
Whenever I finish a book that I feel really passionate about, it's bI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Whenever I finish a book that I feel really passionate about, it's bittersweet. On the one hand, I'm happy to have had the experience, but on the other hand, I'm sad it's over. And then I want everyone to read it, too, so the awesomeness can be shared. That's what makes reading as essential to me as breathing, and that's what Life Unaware has given me. Now that I'm finished, I want to spread its awesomeness.
Life Unaware tackles the topic of bullying - done not only in person but also on social media. There's a moment when Regan discovers a Facebook page where people can write nasty things about her, it was devastating not only for her but for me as well as a parent. It would be one of my worst nightmares if the things that had been done to Regan were done to one of my kids.
And it was devastating that Regan's own mother, who to me is supposed to protect and love her daughter, shared a large portion of the bullying, just in a subtler form. It saddened me when only a couple of adults recognized something major was going on with Regan, but even they didn't really do anything about it. They didn't delve far enough in besides asking if she was okay, and of course she said she was even though she was anything but.
I found myself liking Regan even though I know I wouldn't have if I were in high school with her. I think she had a poor role model in her mother, and having an anxiety disorder is hard enough without the pressure from her mom and the fact that high school can be hell. It really is a battlefield.
Nolan became a light in Regan's life - not as a knight in shining armor kind of way but as a beacon of hope. I really liked how their relationship unfolded and took its time developing. Nolan had secrets of his own, too, and I was impatient to find out what those were.
I think Life Unaware is a book every teen and every parent should read. I couldn't put this book down - I read it in one night and lost a lot of sleep, but it was worth it. Definitely. Tackling bullying and psychological disorders in one novel was a huge undertaking, but Gibsen nailed it. ...more
The Violet Hour's synopsis caught my eye because I thought it soundeI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The Violet Hour's synopsis caught my eye because I thought it sounded like a unique and mysterious read. I don't get into historical fiction a lot, but that aspect of the novel has much to do with what drew me into reading it.
I'm drawn to reading about characters who have lost a parent. I know that sounds macabre, but I've been through it myself and can relate. While The Violet Hour's main character, Allegra, lost her mom to suicide, I lost my mom to cancer. Throughout the novel, I always had this hope that maybe Allegra's mom wasn't really dead. Maybe it was all a mistake or some sort of twisted misunderstanding. I think my feelings about wishing my own mom was still alive bled into The Violet Hour. I really do.
Allegra is a bright, intelligent young woman, and for her time, well, she's ahead of it. It was incredibly brave of her to leave behind the comfort her father's wealth afforded her and go out into the world to live her own way. I couldn't have done it, and I admired that about her. Her father sounds like a horrible man, and it's no wonder she was determined to get away.
I definitely found Brighton interesting, and of course I wanted to know if everything the musicians whispered about him was true or not. I wouldn't say that Allegra and Brighton were victims of insta-love, but they were attracted to each other right away and I loved it! While Allegra was determined to try to spend as much time with him as possible, he was fighting his attraction to her. So they weren't instantly in a relationship, but one developed over time naturally.
The mood of the story was a bit spooky and mysterious, which I loved. Each layer of mysterious happenings was revealed at a good pace - not too fast, not too slow - and I was left wanting to find out more. I was right about The Violet Hour - this is a unique and well written story. The time period, right before the Civil War, made for an interesting setting.
The Violet Hour could very well make you want to grab as much historical fiction as you can if you aren't already a fan of the genre. Plus the spooky mood with hints of danger throughout makes for an engrossing read. I recommend The Violet Hour to anyone who can't resist finding out secrets and Allegra and Brighton are characters you're definitely going to want to get to know well. ...more
After loving Stupid Girl, I was excited to read Stupid Boy. With difI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
After loving Stupid Girl, I was excited to read Stupid Boy. With different characters as the focus, Stupid Boy can be read as a standalone, although I think reading Stupid Girl first will enhance your experience since the stories are connected.
This is probably going to sound morbid, but I do like reading realistic fiction where the characters are broken and need to work through their dark past in order to truly live. Stupid Boy makes me think about the saying, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." Kane sees that right away about Harper despite the outer image she's trying to project, and I think it's because he comes from a painful background, too.
Kane's experiences have given him the ability to see it in someone else, even someone he's just met. When both people have that in their past, they can understand each other in a way without words that other people may not be able to do. I think Harper was trying much harder and more desperately to repress the experiences she had been through, and that was why she didn't see past Kane's exterior shell right away. She wants to pack her pain in a suitcase and keep it in the back of a closet, away from her sight.
I wanted to know what had happened to both of these characters, and through bits and pieces here and there, you come to know what they went through. It's horrifying, and no one should have had to go through that.
I was happy to see Olivia and Brax from the first book in Stupid Boy. I really liked them and was hoping they'd be connected to the characters in this book, which they are.
The only thing that kept me from giving the book five stars was the story lulled in places. It might have been just me and my frame of mind at the time, but a few places were slow for me. Other than that, I really loved reading about Kane and Harper's story, and I'm looking forward to reading about new characters in the next installment. ...more
The Blast is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic young adult novel with a veryI received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The Blast is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic young adult novel with a very young heroine, Beatrice, at the core of the story. After the blasts force Beatrice, her younger brother Henry, and their parents into their bunker, things are never going to be the same for them again. Lucky for Beatrice, her parents prepared for an emergency such as this and had made and stocked the bunker with all kinds of supplies.
The Blast had some major surprises in store. The grittiness of the world after it goes to crap is so realistic, it feels like it could really happen. In a situation like this, where your life changes forever, bad things are bound to happen, and Perlmutter doesn't shy away from from those kind of things happening. I knew life wasn't going to be pretty for this family, but I had no idea they were going to go through so much grief. What really helped them out was the preparation Beatrice's parents had done in case something like this happened.
The nuclear winter was really freaky. The description of what it was like when the family went out scavenging for supplies with ash surrounding them and completely frigid temperatures making it impossible to venture far from home was so realistic. It was just like I imagined a nuclear winter to be like, and it gave me chills!
As I mentioned before, The Blast was very fast paced, taking place over five years, but I wished the pace was slower, taking its time a little more. The story is so rich with so much potential it felt a bit rushed at times. I wanted more!
Beatrice is literally just a kid at eleven-years-old, yet she's had to kill people to protect her family. She isn't even a teen at the beginning of the novel. The things she's had to do for herself and her family to survive keep haunting her, and are things no kid her age should have to see let alone do. Though it was necessary, it changes her forever. There's no going back. She's forced to grow up quickly.
There's foreshadowing here and there of things to come, but the way those events unfold is what will keep you riveted. I couldn't put this book down! The Blast is the kind of story I read in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. I was pulled in right away, and the suspense and grittiness of this new world post-apocalypse had me enthralled. ...more
I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Red's synopsis sounded intriguing to me, and that cover is gorI received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Red's synopsis sounded intriguing to me, and that cover is gorgeous! Alyxandra Harvey is an author who's been on my to-read list for quite a while, and I'm thrilled to say I'm a fan.
I really liked Kia right away - she's snarky (I'd snark right along with her any day!), clever, and oh yeah, can start fires with her mind. As you can probably imagine, that's a problem, especially because she can't control it - she gets kicked out of her school and sent to live with her grandmother, Abby.
One of my favorite television series of all time is Heroes, so when Kia decides not to tell the truth about things she's getting in trouble for even though they aren't her fault, I totally get that. She's afraid the truth could go one of two ways - no one would believe her, or she'd become a government experiment. In Heroes, the characters had extraordinary abilities like Kia, and they were hunted down by the government, so Kia's reasoning was solid to me.
I kept wondering why Kia calls her grandmother Abby instead of Grandma. They saw each other once a year before Kia goes to live with her, so they don't know each other all that well. But still, it seemed odd to me. I liked Abby.
Ethan runs hot and cold. At times I liked him, and other times I didn't. He can be kind and generous but also just plain rude. Because he's in the know about the mysterious woods from the start and Kia isn't, I guess he was going for the tough love thing? Maybe he thought he was helping her out? But he can see there's more to her than she lets on, and he's smart. There's much more to her than meets the eye.
Red is fast paced with plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested and turning the pages. You can feel Kia's struggle to control her ability, and I wanted her to come out with the truth but understood why she was hesitant about the idea. For me, Red is a quick read, and I was engrossed from the beginning. Kia had a lot to do with that. I just really loved her character from the first page. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good young adult paranormal read. ...more
In The Demon's Deadline, a teen girl named Nicki survives a car acciI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
In The Demon's Deadline, a teen girl named Nicki survives a car accident by making a deal with a demon, Azmos. He can show up anywhere, anytime, and she has to deliver the envelopes he gives her to their recipients. After several months of delivering these envelopes, Nicki starts to wonder exactly what she's doing and why she seems to be different from the others who've made deals with Azmos.
Cam is the kind of boyfriend I'd like to see more of in YA books. He's a straight A student and very likable. He *gasp* communicates with his girlfriend! I think he's mature for his age, and I liked that he knew Nicki's secret - it was great that she had at least one person she could confide in, especially when her job as errand girl becomes dangerous.
Nicki decided not to tell her father or her best friend, Melissa, and so she lies to them. That would have to be frustrating to lie to people you love and feel like there's nothing you can do about it because you made a deal with a demon. She's afraid they won't believe her and think she suffered brain injuries from the accident.
I related with Nicki because she lost her mom in the accident. I know what it's like to have a dull ache in my chest from the loss, and when Nicki would think about her mom and how much she misses her and feels guilty she survived when her mom didn't, I knew what she was feeling. I totally got it. I felt for Nicki's father and his grief, too.
Azmos is cunning, mysterious, annoying... everything I imagine a demon to be. I couldn't stop reading for the need to know what it was about Nicki that was different from the others. Why did he let her sign a deal with him before she turned sixteen? I couldn't wait to find out. I didn't have my own theories, not really. It was something I couldn't figure out.
The Demon's Deadline is a quick read with likable characters and a terrific plot. I'd love to see more characters like Nicki and Cam in YA books - they're smart, relatable, and strong on their own. Nicki doesn't rely on Cam, and their relationship is relatively drama-free (with the exception of a demon's demands). I recommend this book to anyone who loves YA paranormal with smart characters. ...more
Zombie-saurus Rex was a really cool zombie story. Full of originality andI received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Zombie-saurus Rex was a really cool zombie story. Full of originality and fun, I cared about Rex. A lot. And I really wanted him to get a happy ending. I know, I know. He's a zombie. But he isn't like any other zombie I know, except maybe R from Warm Bodies. But Zombie-saurus Rex is completely different from Warm Bodies - in this novel, zombies can still do things like speak and go to school, but humans are leery of them, to the point where some in the military want to put them in internment camps or just go ahead and kill them all.
In a sense, I could understand people's trepidation, after all, what are zombies infamous for craving? But if Rex gets to eat his calf brain for lunch and has snacks here and there (snacks he's brought with him!) then there's no reason to panic about him coming after you. He just wants to graduate high school and maybe go to college. The problem is, Rex and his mother have had to move so many times he finds himself behind in school academically sometimes, plus it's difficult to learn when you have to deal with other kids harassing you.
I love Ariella! And I love that Rex does end up making a male friend, Howie. Ariella wants to be different, so much so that she goes out of her way to try to stand out from everyone else. I had forgotten she's the daughter of the Chief of Police, and so I cracked up when he knocks on Rex's door looking for her. Poor Rex had no idea! The two of them were what I thought of as the dynamic duo. I don't think there was anything Rex could have done that would've phased Ariella or made her stop liking him. Nothing. And that's the kind of friend you need at any age.
Zombie-saurus Rex does an excellent job of giving you an escape from the real world while at the same time giving you food for thought (pun intended) about dealing with the presence of discrimination and adversity. I highly, highly recommend this book no matter if you're a fan of zombies or not. If you aren't a fan of them, then you will be after meeting Rex. Promise....more
The Stillness of the Sky is a gender flipped take on "Jack and the BI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The Stillness of the Sky is a gender flipped take on "Jack and the Beanstalk" with originality. I ADORE Starla's Evolution series and her other gender flipped fairy tale, Shadows on Snow. I not only wish I had thought about this, too, but also wish for her to gender flip everything! XD
In this rendition, Jack is short for Jacqueline. Jack's mother is tired of dealing with her father so she tries to convince Jack to leave with her. Jack chooses to stay with her alcoholic father because she worries he won't be able to take care of himself. He's abusive to her and one day orders her to sell their cows to cover his debt. On her way to town, she stops to rest, falls asleep, and wakes up to find the cows are gone and in their place is a pouch of beans.
Jack ends up leaving, wondering if it would have been kinder to have left earlier so her father would have been forced to face his demons a long time ago. She doesn't have a clear plan or idea of where she's going, but that's what makes her departure so adventurous and exciting. Not to mention that she's finally free - away from her father's abuse and only has to worry about taking care of herself rather than someone who doesn't appreciate all that she does.
I was so excited for her! She's setting out on this journey this for herself, no one else. To me, the journey she embarks on was also symbolic of the kind young people take to discover themselves. Along Jack's way she meets different people whom she helps because she truly embodies kindness, and they recognize the quality in her. One stormy night, the beans are accidentally planted, and she wakes up to find a towering beanstalk. From there, everything becomes magical.
I love the characters, especially Jack, and the adventure and romance woven into this tale. Starla has the imaginative chops to take this well known story and make it her own. From now on, I'll look at "Jack and the Beanstalk" with a new and fresh perspective. Every time I think about it, I'll think of The Stillness of the Sky and how beautiful and uplifting Starla retold this tale. ...more
The mix of genres in Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose is unique and creative.I received a copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The mix of genres in Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose is unique and creative. There's fantasy with unicorns, dragons, and fairies, horror with zombies, science fiction with space travel and life on other planets, and a touch of romance. It's amazing how Schluntz had these elements all come together to make a unified story. Santa is even in there!
Amaranthine begins with finding out that several different planets, including Earth, have been infected with a plague that turns the inhabitants into zombies. The plague was created during a war between unicorns and dragons, and Dee also known as Decompose, carries the plague. The cure lies in his friend, Jhon, and the two end up getting separated. Dee must find Jhon in order to cure the inhabitants of the different planets ravaged by the disease.
The action and tension kept me on the edge of my seat. Dee and Jhon had an enormous task ahead of them, not only to find each other but also to cure people and stay a step ahead of those who wish to use the infection to control their people. And Dee straddles the line between life and death - he doesn't really belong to one or the other. I grew to like Dee, but it took me time to get used to Jhon. I wasn't sure about him for a while.
There are a couple of other characters who are as important as Dee and Jhon, but I don't want to say who they are or talk about them because I feel it would give too much away. I will say one character I liked quite a bit, and the other I liked but not quite as much.
Amaranthine is a novel I believe will appeal to fans of any or all of the genres it includes. It gives a fresh take on zombies - they aren't all like the zombies you're used to - and I loved the space travel aspect of the novel. I haven't seen a novel mixing these genres together before, and it's a cleverly written mashup of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. And there are unicorns! Did I mention unicorns?! ...more
It's been a long time since I've read a good YA thriller, and UnleasI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
It's been a long time since I've read a good YA thriller, and Unleashed is a great one. Although I haven't read Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I know the story and have always been fascinated by it. The way McClellan handles her re-imagining of this classic is clever and suspenseful. Unleashed takes you on a fast action-packed ride from beginning to end.
Claire is a high school student who's in a band and wants to get out of the town she lives in. She doesn't have a great home life, and she's had to protect herself because neither of her parents will. Once she accidentally overhears classified information at the medical research facility in her town, her life is in danger from a security guard who's been tasked to find out what she knows and a guy she runs into named Gage. Luckily, she has a father figure in her life who also happens to be a policeman. He looks out for her just like a father would his own daughter.
Soon it becomes apparent that one of two important people in Claire's life play a role in the information she overheard - she just doesn't know which one, and neither does the reader. That was one of my favorite aspects of Unleashed - not knowing and trying to figure out who Gage's identity before he could harm Claire. You only know Gage could be Claire's friend, Logan, or her boyfriend, Ethan. McClellan writes both characters in a way that either one could be the culprit, and you use clues and hints she drops to take a guess.
I really didn't know which one was Gage and was kept guessing until the end. The ending was spectacularly intense and kept my pulse pounding! McClellan did a stellar job with her re-imagining of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in Unleashed. And what a perfect title for the book! I'd recommend this to anyone who is looking for a YA thriller with romance sprinkled in. ...more
I've done my best to keep spoilers out of this review in case you haI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I've done my best to keep spoilers out of this review in case you haven't read the first two books, but there may be a tiny detail or two I've forgotten. :P
Buried in New Orleans starts off with Jolie, Brit, and Drew heading to New Orleans so he can cross over. They search for April, Drew's girlfriend from when he was alive, to get answers as to why he hasn't been able to. They run into Jolie's old ghost hunting group NOSH (New Orleans Spirit Hunters), and she's less than thrilled to see them because Drew has been hanging around her for so long. Jolie's kind of been putting off helping him move on, and it's a huge no-no to allow a spirit to hang around.
I love these characters and this series! It's an amazing story line which gets better with each book. Each character has his or her strengths and weakness, but they all bring something to the table which makes them such a great team.
I truly believe Jolie was born to help spirits. She gets part of her talent through her mother and grandmother, but she also puts her heart into everything she does. Her downfall? Drew, but I can't blame her!
Brit is so spunky it gets her into trouble sometimes, but I like her spunk. She's completely fearless and a great partner in crime. Her downfall? The color pink. And money. ;)
Drew has been there for Jolie - helping her get ghost hunting jobs, supporting her on the move to Massachusetts and starting a new school. He's been her only friend until Brit. He's comforted her, and it's totally understandable why she wouldn't want to let all that go.
So when the mystery of why he can't cross over is revealed, it's a complete shocker. Never saw it coming! It makes it even more difficult for Jolie to help him because helping him means letting him go. I really empathized with her - I wouldn't want to lose my best friend either.
Buried in New Orleans is a fantastic addition to the RIPSTERS series! I love the modernized Nancy Drew-like paranormal mystery aspect this series has. Reading Buried in New Orleans was like visiting with old friends. I love the dynamics in Jolie and Brit's friendship. I highly recommend this series if you love young adult books with paranormal mystery, and romance. ...more
Gathering Frost is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty with a twist onI received a copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
Gathering Frost is a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty with a twist on the story we're used to - instead of sleeping, the kingdom is in thrall to the Queen, including Jade, the main character. The Queen has frozen all emotions except for fear and dread to keep everyone under her control. Genius idea!
Jade is in the Queen's guard and the only female because she's so kickass. I love a strong female character, and it isn't just her frozen heart that braces her in the face of danger. She possesses true bravery and courage, the likes of which some of the men around her are sorely lacking. She's intelligent - always thinking one step ahead.
When she meets the Queen's son, Prince Asher, and is tasked with deceiving him, it's quickly apparent she's met her match in wit and strength. I was surprised by how different he is from his mother - he's warm and caring. I loved how he was more amused by Jade than threatened by her. I think it was because he could see something within her that no one else could, maybe something she couldn't even see for herself.
My only issue with Gathering Frost is that a couple of parts felt a little slow to me. My mind kept wandering during those times though I had no distractions around me. Something pulled me out of the story for some reason. It's a fast read though as in I read it all in one sitting and did enjoy it.
The relationship between Jade and Asher will probably seem like instalove, but this is a fairy tale reimagining and love happens fast in fairy tales. There are plenty of complex obstacles for them to navigate to make their story interesting. Jade is supposed to be deceiving Asher, but at what point does she stop, if ever? Or is she only deceiving herself?
I'm excited to find out what happens next! Gathering Frost is a book I'd recommend to anyone who loves fairy tales and strong heroines in YA fiction. ...more
I'm a fan of serial storytelling where parts of the story come in episodesI received a review copy for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I'm a fan of serial storytelling where parts of the story come in episodes spread out over time. The Chronicles of Steele #1 contains four episodes, and I'll be reviewing all of them here.
I really enjoyed reading the episodes and even better, I read them back-to-back. It would have been difficult to wait for each one, but I wouldn't have minded. My anticipation would have just built up, and all of this together means the wait would be worth it. After finishing The Chronicles of Steele, I know this is definitely true.
I love Raven. She's a reaper who wants to settle down and become a wife but an incident early on ends up sending her on yet another mission. Once she's on this mission, that's all she focuses on though she had been on her way to give up being a reaper and live a "normal" human life.
Reapers aren't magic, but they are highly trained to anticipate outcomes ahead of time and to fight and to be mentally prepared. They are so well trained they seem like they use magic. Raven was taught to save a life for every life she has to take, which keeps a reaper balanced and reminds him (with the exception of Raven, most reapers are male) all lives have meaning.
The plot is captivating and laid out well, and the steampunk elements are seamlessly blended in giving the world Creeden has built vibrant life. Captain Jack caught my eye early on. I remember thinking I hoped to meet up with him again sooner rather than later. Though he's the enemy, it isn't quite that cut and dry as you'll find out.
Jack and Raven are playing a game of cat-and-mouse. She's always one step ahead of him, and I couldn't help but be amused every time he realized that. He sees her strength and recognizes her vulnerability. There's more to him than just what you see on the outside.
I think The Chronicles of Steele might just be my absolute favorite book by Pauline Creeden now - it's that fantastic! ...more