Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking For Alaska
Series/Sequel? No
Author: John Green
Genres: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 221 (Paperback)

Summary from Goodreads: Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Review: I feel like I almost shouldn't post a review to this, because I'm going to feel bad once I do, but... Here's the thing: The first John Green book I read was The Fault in Our Stars, which was his latest book, the fifth one he's written. And it was so utterly amazing I couldn't believe my eyes. It was that awesome. And then I go and read this, which was the first book he ever wrote (or at least got published).

You could tell the difference.

Ugh, now I feel really mean. But let me explain myself.

One of the things I loved in The Fault in Our Stars was how... interesting the conversations the main characters had. They were teenagers, yes, but their conversations were so funny/deep (alternately, not at the same time) and just so interesting. But then, in this book, they were... just so... kinda stupid and shallow and... not all together interesting. They were concerned about what typical high school students were concerned with - sex and drugs and alcohol. And... I guess I just expected more from this author.

The plot in itself wasn't horrible. Alaska was very interesting, and I enjoyed reading her character. I found Pudge's memorization of last words cool as well. The pranks they pulled had me laughing and clucking my tongue at them. I also thought it was cool how the chapters - and the parts of the book - were split between Before and After. I found Pudge's and the Colonel's investigations in After interesting as well.

I'm kinda split down the middle in terms of the ending. I thought it was fitting, because there really WAS no clear answer, but at the same time, I hated how there wasn't a solid ending, a solid The End that said that this was what happened and that was that.

Overall, my thoughts on this book are kind of divided right down the middle. You'll have to try it for yourself to see whether you like it or not. Only personal preference will be able to tell.


Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Series/Sequel? No
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Romance
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 338 (Hardcover)

Summary from Goodreads:  Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Review: So, I read Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. I lurved it. I found out there was a companion. I walked into my library on Monday and found this waiting for me on the "New" shelf!

This book is different than Anna and the French Kiss. There are some similarities, though. It's almost like they are the same book, just with different events happening in different places and orders.

I liked how each character in this book had their own thing. Inventing for Cricket, fashion for Lola, baking for Andy, figure skating for Calliope. Each person sticks to their thing, and is really good at their thing, and their thing influences their character. I respect Stephanie Perkins for being able to differentiate her characters so.

I liked Lola's relationship with her dads. I thought it was cute and nice and cool and sweet how, even though they weren't her real parents and they were gay, they still had a very familial relationship. I also thought Andy and Nathan (her dads) were funny and sweet and cute in their own right.

I liked how Anna and St. Clair (from Anna and the French Kiss) made and appearance in this book. They were so cute, and I was glad to see more of them. I liked how, with their love, they helped Lola deal with her relationship problems, through listening ad advice.

I've already said this, but I loved how much each character's thing influenced the plot as well, and not just the characters. I liked how Lola's ability with a sewing needle saved the day.(You'll have to read the book to know what I'm talking about.)I liked reading about each of her ensembles, how they sometimes matched what she was doing that day, and how each one was so unique. It was also interesting to read how the other characters reacted to her outfits.

I didn't like Max at all. I had no idea why Lola was even with him. He was rude and mean, and I don't think Lola should have even been with him in the first place. But I guess it worked out in the end. :)

I don't think I like this book as much as Anna and the French Kiss (because I can't' help comparing the two). I'm not sure why. I can't really pinpoint the reason. But if you liked Anna and the French Kiss and/or Sarah Dessen, I would suggest it, because there is no doubt in my mind you will enjoy it!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a meme held by The Story Siren, which trumpets the books book bloggers have gotten that week/weeks to read and review. So, I was at my library twice this week, and I had nothing else let to read, and I saw so many good things, and... well, this is what happens when I'm let loose in a library:

Wither, by Lauren DeStephano
Looking For Alaska by John Green (I read The Fault In Our Stars by him and have been waiting to get my hands on another one of his books for a while now)
Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff
Hero Type by Barry Lyga (The LAST :( book for book group)
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (In honor of World Book Night, which this was a book for)

So, yeah. Twelve books. That most would say that's a lot, but it's really not, because these:


I've already read and reviewed, on Goodreads if not on here. And these:

I've already read, and just haven't had the time to review. So, with five of the twelve already read, I only have seven left to go! Any opinions on what I got this week?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Pandmonium
Series/Sequel? The second of the Delirium series
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genres: Dystopian, Romance
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 375 (Hardcover) 
Summary: Lena managed to escape into the Wilds. But now she has to figure out how to survive. And with the resistance going stronger and a war beginning to brew, she has to find out how far she's willing to go to stop the cure... even as she is getting over her grief of losing Alex, and finding love with someone else... someone who shouldn't love her back. Someone who she shouldn't love.

Review: Truth be told, I was surprised when I found out Delirium was the first of a series. It ended so beautifully, SO beautifully and wonderfully and amazingly that I didn't think it needed a sequel. And... I'm not sure it was for the better.

The way it is told is confusing in itself. It goes back and forth between "then" and "now", until closer to the end of the book. I found it very hard to follow, and I didn't like the set up. In my opinion, it should have been told in just chronological order. I feel like it would be easier and make much more sense.

I didn't like Raven and the rest of the Invalids very much. They were, in my opinion, fairly boring, without personalities that differentiated from each other enough to really tell the difference between them. I also thought Raven (who is the head of the Invalids Lena stays with) was mean and rude and... ugh, I just did not like her.

I hated the relationship that occurred in this book between Lena and Julian. It was unnecessary and stupid, and just seemed like a way for Lena to cope over the loss of Alex. There was no real love or feeling between them, in my opinion, just lust for the forbidden... and lust in general. And especially how it ended... it seems like this series is going to be another stupid, pointless love triangle like so many other contemporary book series, which makes me sad and disappointed. Delirium was so amazing and powerful and beautiful... and this book just totally undermined all that.

I rated this at a three for only a couple of reasons - the writing in itself is wonderful, and there were parts (I don't want to give away spoilers, so I can't tell you what parts) that were very interesting and kept me reading.

All in all, I am fairly disappointed. I really wish that Lauren Oliver had just kept Delirium as a stand alone, because in this case, less is more. However, I know I will have to read the third one (whatever the title is, whenever it comes out) just because of the cliffhanger this book ends on.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Book Review: Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

Title: Bones of Faerie
Series/Sequel? First of the series, followed by Faerie Winter
Author: Janni Lee Simner
Genres: Scifi/Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Paranormal
Age Level: YA (12-18)
Page Count: 256 (Paperback)

Summary from Goodreads: The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

Review:The plot of this book was very interesting. I've never even thought of something like this - a mix of dystopian/post-apocalyptic and faery/paranormal. It was an incredibly unique plot line and approach to faeries and faery magic. However, everything else left a little to be desired.

It was written in first person, but it read more as third person - detached and not as emotional or easy-to-be-interested-in-the-characters. So, I was less than impressed with the actual characters. They were fairly two-dimensional.

I also found some problems with the actual writing. There were a lot of times when I didn't know what had just happened, when I thought something happened that actually didnt, or where the characters made strange jumps that I didn't understand.

So, if you can deal with not very clear writing and want a very unique plot line, I would suggest it. However if you're more like me and need very 3-D characters, I wouldn't suggest it for you, because it will be a waste of your time.


Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Series/Sequel? No
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Romance
Age Level: YA (12-18)
Page Count: 372 (Hardcover)

Summary from inside flap of book: Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Etienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wished have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss? 

Review: Oh, this was so adorable! So, so adorable! It was realistic romance, and I loved it so, so much!

Okay, calm down, Anastasia. Calm down. Get out review. Then you can swoon again.

So, yeah, my review. I've heard that this book was really good, so when I saw the spine on my library bookshelf, I decided to check it out. The librarian gave me a look, and my friend teased me (because the title is a little... ahem, suggestive) but it was worth it.

This book was hilarious. I was only a couple pages in and laughing. It was just so realistic. Like how a seventeen-year-old girl would actually be thinking. Just a hilarious, slightly ADD seventeen-year-old girl. Anna was hilarious and realistic, and I loved every second of her. It was told from her perspective, and so her hilariousness was there almost every moment of it. She is amazing and fearless and... oh, I wish we could hang out sometime!

The rest of the characters were really great as well. Etienne St. Clair was so charismatic and nice and sweet, and not at all like the typical sex-crazed guy. I'm mad at Anna for taking him, because I think I'm in love with him. :)

The rest of the characters were very awesome as well. Well, some of them (like Amanda and Toph and both St. Clair's and Anna's fathers) weren't very nice and I kind of wanted to slap/kill them at times, but they were all very unique. I greatly respect the author for being able to successfully give each character their very own specific personality.

I really wish there was a sequel to this, because I loved it so much! I've gotta check to see if it's at the book store, because I want to buy it so badly!

If you like Sarah Dessen, I would suggest this book for you. If you like romance, I would suggest this book for you. If you like down-to-earth, realistic fiction coming-of-age stories, I would also suggest. All in all, an awesome book!



Book Review: Die For Me by Amy Plum

Title: Die For Me
Series/Sequel? The first of the Revenants series
Author: Amy Plum 
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA (12-18)
Page Count: 341

Summary from inside flap of book: My life has always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything. Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I meant Vincent. 

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept mt off mt feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen. 

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life and risk every day. He also has enemies... immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind. 

While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart - as well as my life and my family's - in jeopardy for a chance at love?

Review:  Three Words: Zombie Love Story.

Those three words are essentially this story in a nutshell. Although, I realize that that isn't really a real review, so let me tell you what I thought about this book.

The plot in of itself is fairly interesting. Learning about what Vincent is and all the rules that go with it, and what he can do, and all that... it was interesting. I've never read anything like it, in terms of the "paranormal" part of the plot. But it is a Paranormal Romance book. And in terms of the romance part of it... if you're a Twilight fan, the romance part of it will interest you.

On Kate's character: More Twilight analogies. She's fairly Bella-ish. She can't deal with it when Vincent is no longer with her. And she was the one that broke up with him! She was all moaning and weak and... I kind of wanted to grab her my the shoulders and shake her a couple of times until some sense was slammed into her brain. The rest of the time, she was fairly level-headed and cute, kind of keeping to herself. I liked her, beside her moaning and groaning over Vincent.

I liked Georgia, Kate's sister, even more so that Kate at times. She was very funny and carefree, even if she made some bad choices at times. Kate's and Georgia's relationship was realistic, in terms of older and younger sisters.

I loved Vincent, and the rest of his "family". Jules and Ambrose were both hilarious, Charlotte and Jeanne were really sweet, and Gaspard and Jean-Baptiste both had very unique personalities, for their specific characters.

All in all, I think the paranormal part of the story was much better than the romance part, and I wish is focused much more on that than Vincent and Kate's relationship. I might or might not try to find and check out the sequel at the library. I'm not sure if I can handle more of Kate's weakness.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book Review: Fairest of All by Serena Valentino

Title: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen
Series/Sequel? No
Author: Serena Valentino
Genres: Fairytale retellings, old-fashioned fiction
Age Level: YA (12-18)
Page Count: 250 (Hardcover) 
Summary from inside flap of book: The tale of the young princess SNow White and her evil stepmother the Wicked Queen is widelt known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling,the story remains the same - the Queen was jealous of the girl's beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen's attempt on the sweet, naive girl's life. 

Another tale far less often spojen of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen's true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the Queen's first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life. 

In fact, the theories about exactly what caused the Queen's obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen...

Review: When I saw this book at the bookstore, the thing that drew me in was the cover. Because look at it - is it not a gorgeous cover? When I picked up this book and read the inside flap, the thing that drew me in was how it was a retelling of Snow White, supposedly making the Wicked Queen... un-wicked. I've always been interested in that type of story, giving the villain a reason for being a villain.

It started slow. So slow, that, even a couple pages in, I was looking at the page numbers and thinking How much do I have left to read? But then I forced myself to ignore the page numbers and actually read the story, and I found out that it was a decent tale.

This is a fairytale retelling in a way I've never seen it done. The Wicked Queen - who doesn't seem to have a name, but just is called "the Queen" - is shown in a different light. Which, I guess, was kinda the point of the entire story. But it gives reasons for her being horrible and awful to everyone. It gives a different reason besides pure vanity that she looked in the Mirror every day and asked who was the fairest of them all. It gave reasons for everything that she did in the classic tale. For it wasn't so much vanity or just... horrible-ness... but grief. It was amazing all the back-story the author was able to create - and make it it sound plausible and reasonable.

A couple problems I had with it: The storytelling was very childish. Well, maybe not childish, but it was very "Once upon a time..." But that, considering the topic, was appropriate. It's written in third person, in that very fairytale kind of way. I also didn't like how it didn't give the Queen, the King, or the Prince (the one who awakens Snow with Love's First Kiss and all that) any names. They were called by their titles throughout the entire book. In books, one of the things I find most interesting about characters are their names. Do their names have anything to do with their personality? Is their foreshadowing in their names? I wish the the author had given them names. My third and last complaint: I feel as if the ending left a little something to be desired. It made sense where it ended, it's just... the words and the meaning of the words they used - not the actual definition, but what it means as a metaphor or whatever - were confusing the first time I read them. I had to read them again to really understand it and all it meant.

If you like fairytale retellings, I would suggest this for you!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Title: Goddess Interrupted
Series/Sequel? Second book of The Goddess Test Series
Author: Aimee Carter
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Greek Mythology
Age Level: YA (12-18)
Page Count: 269 (Paperback)
Summary from back of book: Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. 

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless cavers of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future. 

Henry's first wife, Persephone. 

Review: I read The Goddess Test last year, and I've been waiting for the sequel ever since. It did not disappoint.

Told from Kate's POV like the first book, this starts when James brings Kate back from Greece, back to the Underworld. From there, things picked up rapidly. (In terms of the plot, I mean.)It wasn't like Harry Potter-ish or anything like that, where you can't possibly stop reading because of the next battle or whatever, but there wasn't really a dull moment in this book.

Kate's character grew from the first book, and I greatly respected her bravery and courage. She did anything she could to help Henry and the council. She dealt with people she hated, risked her life several times, but kept going to save the people she cared about.

Persephone... she plays a major part in this book. And I didn't like her. At all. She was selfish and idiotic and selfish and uncaring and a bi-

...mean word I'm not allowed to say. :D

I also hated how much Henry still cared about her. It was thousands of years ago. Get over her already! You have Kate now. You are married now. Stop being so jerkish and mean and just plain RUDE to Kate, and be with the girl who actually loves you, instead of a pretty face. Those were the words I was screaming up at him almost the entire time.

The ending made me want to pull my hair out and scream and Aimee Carter to hurry up and write the next book. It was such an awful cliffhanger! I mean, it was an amazing ending, but it's awful that she's making us wait for it.

I can't wait for The Goddess Inheritance! Anyone know when it's coming out?



Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Review: A Beautful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Title: A Beautiful Dark
Series/Sequel? First in a series, followed by A Fractured Light
Author: Jocelyn Davies
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA (12-18)
Page Count: 390 (Hardcover)
Summary from inside flap of book: On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites - like fire and ice - Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want or why they seem to follow her every move - only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt just not the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past. 

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine. 

Review: I got this out of my library just because I recognized the cover from a book blog I read. If I had taken the time to actually read the summary, I probably wouldn't have bothered checking it out, because I knew who Asher and Devin were upon reading it. Or I should probably say WHAT they were.

And let me also say, upon reading and actually finding more out about the plot, I was wrong in what I thought they were. Kinda. They were what I thought they were... but there was also more to it. There was more to the plot and the characters than what I thought.

The writing was phenomenal. Very, very, enjoyable to read. It was written in first person, and I greatly enjoyed reading from Skye's perspective. She was down to earth and believable.

I liked her.

The plot was slow at the very beginning. Soon enough in the plot, however, the plot began picking up. It was fast in the right places, slow in the right places. At times, things happened that I didn't expect, new characters appeared even though I hadn't expected it.

I loved how each character had a specific personality. Asher was very bad boy, Devin was very responsible, Callie was very shallow, Skye was down to earth, shy, and kinda goody-two-shoes. I was impressed that the author was able to do that.

All in all, a very enjoyable, if not slightly predictable read. If I see the sequel in my library, I will be sure to check it out!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a meme held by The Story Siren, which trumpets the books book bloggers have gotten that week/weeks to read and review. I do not have a HUGE amount of stuff I've gotten, but I'm still trying to work through the pile of a couple weeks ago. So here it is:

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (Book for Book Group at my library)

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Die for Me by Amy Plum

I also BOUGHT!:

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Fairest of All by Serena Valentino

So... yeah. Only seven, I know, but I still have 3 others to finish from last weeks raid. :) But I'm glad I got to go to Barnes and Noble :) If any of you have read any of these and have any two-sense to put in (loved it, hated it, don't bother reading it, whatever) leave a comment!

Book Review: Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr

Title: Darkest Mercy
Series/Sequel? The final book of the Wicked Lovely Series
Author: Melissa Marr
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA (13-18)
Page Count: 327 (Hardcover) 
Summary: The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr's "New York Times" bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

Review: Darkest Mercy was full of surprises and deaths... and neither is respectively good or bad.

So many, many people died in this book. There were also a good amount of fake outs - you believing they were bad and then they turned out to still be living. I won't say exactly who died and who lived, but... it surprised and amazed me, all that happened.

Besides deaths, other things changed in this as well. People took on different roles, started and continued relationships with different people. I was surprised by all these different roles and relationships, but glad for the people that entered them, that they found their place and their people.

I was looking forward, in this last novel, for the High Court and the Shadow Court to meet up with the other courts and play other big roles. Much to my dismay, there were only mentionings of these courts in this novel; they didn't play a major role in the last battle, even though I thought they should have.

I hated, in this book, how grief-stricken and mad and inconsolable Niall became because of Irial. I admired Niall in previous books for how sure and unshakable he was. But becoming unhinged like that... I didn't really like him as much.

All in all, though it had some problems, the conclusion to the Wicked Lovely series was a fitting end to the series.

My favorites in terms of the series (1 means my favorite of the series, then decreasing is less favorite)

Wicked Lovely: 2
Ink Exchange: 3
Fragile Eternity: 1
Radiant Shadows: 4
Darkest Mercy: 5


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Book Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

Title: Radiant Shadows
Series/Sequel? Fourth of the Wicked Lovely Series, followed by Darkest Mercy
Author: Melissa Marr
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA (13-18)
Page Count: 340 (Hardcover)  
Summary from inside flap of book: Hunger for nourishment. Hunger for touch. Hunger to belong. Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers. 

Those same appeties also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death. 

Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans - and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery world mean losing each other? 
 Review: This book... did things I did not believe possible. I will not tell you what exactly it did, because that would be a spoiler, but...

You first hear about Devlin in Fragile Eternity, and I didn't really like him. I found him creepy and not having the mental capacities to think on his own. But in this... reading from his POV... seeing how he viewed things... seeing how he treated Ani... changed that. I found out why he had served Sorcha such, and found how he had other wants and needs. I got to also see him begin to grow a backbone, got to see him make his own choices, for the things HE wanted in life... as opposed to the things that Sorcha wanted.

I really liked Ani. She was such an awesome, kick butt heroine. She refused to be treated like she was weak, stood up against Bananach and Gabriel and Sorcha. And I loved and admired her for it. I also liked how, even though she was becoming fey, she managed to keep her humanity, and be concerned for Devlin and the other she loved. I liked how she did her best to not hurt anyone because of her hungers, how she did her best keeping them controlled even as she was slowly starving.

Rae was also very interesting to read about as well. I've heard and read of dreamwalkers before, but she was one of the first you got to really explore in depth. Her relationship with Devlin was sweet as well, and I found it nice how, even though she had feelings for Devlin, she let him and Ani be together. I respected her for that.

But Irial... oh, Irial! I don't want to do spoilers, but... let's just say that something happens to Irial, leaving him in life-threatening conditions... I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO DIE! EVEN IF HE'S THE FORMER DARK COURT KING I LOVED HIM!... So you'll have to read it to find out if he survives or not. :D

And then the thing I was freaking out at in the beginning... AHHH! I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT ANI AND DEVLIN MANAGED TO DO THAT! I can't wait to read the next book, to see where everything that has happened in the faery world changes relationships and courts and AHHH! I AM SO EXCITED TO READ IT!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Review: Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr

Title: Fragile Eternity
Series/Sequel? Third in the Wicked Lovely Series, followed by Radiant Shadows 
Author: Melissa Marr
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA (13-18)
Page Count: 389 (Hardcover)
Summary from inside flap of book: Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone - but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on a new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen. 

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her - but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined. 

In Melissa Marr's third mesmerizing tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other in a milieu of shadowy rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos. 

There was so much tension in this book! Ahhh! Bananach is growing stronger, her whisperings of war closer to being heard, and with all the tension in this third book of the Wicked Lovely series, it's obvious to see that war will be coming.

Seth and Aislinn's relationship is definitely growing more stressed in this book. Seth wants to be a faery, wants to stay with Aislinn forever, but neither Niall or Keenan will help him. Keenan is growing more ruthless and cruel, wanting to all but dispose of Seth to have Aislinn to himself in order to make his court stronger. I normally like tension in books - heck, with a good amount of tension, the book can become addictive and one of my favorites - but with this novel I couldn't help empathizing with the characters... and feeling bad because of the things they have to go through.

I didn't like how needy Aislinn was in this book. One of the reasons I loved her so much in Wicked Lovely was because how self-sufficient and strong she was, not needing Seth or Keenan to hold her up. In Fragile Eternity, she was a whole lot more needy, and there were a couple of times I felt like taking her by the shoulders and shaking her a few times. Stop wallowing in self-pity and get over it all ready! Alas, she is a book character, and I couldn't exactly do that.

Sorcha, the High Queen, plays a major part in this story, and I found her interesting, if not confusing at times. The bond she shares with Bananach and Seth was very interesting to read about, and not what I had expected at all - in a good way.

With this book, a lot of the stakes have majorly changed. Everyone has all but become someone else, and relationships have changed drastically. I have the next book, Radiant Shadows, sitting right next to my bed, waiting to be picked up later tonight!



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

Title: Ink Exchange
Series/Sequel? Second of the Wicked Lovely Series, followed by Fragile Eternity
Author: Melissa Marr
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA (13-18)
Page Count: 325 (Hardcover) 
Summary from inside flap of book: Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow. 

Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily  beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life. 

The tattoo does bring changes - not the kind Leslie dreams of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils...

Review: I've been waiting to read the sequel of Wicked Lovely for about three years now. I was very excited to read it, and it didn't drop below my expectations.

This book was a whole lot darker than Wicked Lovely. There were several reasons for this, I believe. One was the fact that it focuses mainly on the Dark Court. And next to the Dark Court, Beira (from Wicked Lovely) looks tame. Another factor was the things that have happened to Leslie, the things that she has had to go through, and the type of thing Niall - who is also a main character in this book - has had to go through.

I also found the tattoo and the whole process of her becoming Irial's through the ink exchange very interesting. The design of the tattoo itself was very cool to imagine, as was it's symbolism and how each part of it represented a different thing.

This book was written in third person, which distanced me from the character, but also thought was for the best. It changed vantage points - from Niall's to Irial's to Leslie's - that I feel that if it has been written in first person, it would have been just to confusing.

In this book, the unexpected reigned more than I can tell you. Irial was more compassionate than I believed a Dark King could be, and Niall was more dark and tortured than I thought an adviser to the Summer King could be. I also found it amazing how much pain and darkness Leslie could withstand, and how even under Irial's influence, she could still make her own prices.

I have the third book, Fragile Eternity, ready to be read next!


Book Review: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Title: Wicked Lovely
Series/Sequel? The first in the series, followed by Ink Exchange 
Author: Melissa Marr
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA (13-18)
Page Count: 328 (Paperback) 
Summary from back of book: 
Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries
Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries
Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention
Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in the mortal world. When the rules that have kept Aislinn safe from them stop working, everything is suddenly on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything. 
Faery intrigue, mortal lovem and the clash of ancient rules and modern expectations swirl together in Melissa Marr's stunning twenty-first century faery tale. 
Review: I have been obsessed with faery books lately, and this was a good start to satiating my appetite.

In many books, the clueless, innocent female main character and protagonist has no idea what is going on, no idea that faeries exist. It is up to the big, strong men to guide and protect her, to gently tell her about the fey, to act chivalrous and kill for their ladies.

It wasn't that way with this book. And I loved it.

Aislinn knows about the fey. She is informed and strong. She knows about the fey whereas her boyfriend/best friend Seth doesn't. It's up to her to take charge and be strong and protect herself from the fey... even though Seth is calming her down when she gets to stressed out.

I loved Seth's and Aislinn's romantic relationship as well. I feel - in books and in real life - like so many relationships are based purely on sex. It wasn't like that with Aislinn and Seth at all. Seth had waited to be with her for a long time, and Ash didn't want to ruin their relationship. In a lot of ways, they remained more best friends than boyfriend and girlfriend. And I was greatful for that.

I thought Aislinn was also very noble and very wise for someone her age. She did what needed to be done, and did it so everyone - or almost everyone - that mattered to her was fairly happy. She was brave and handled herself well at the hands of the fey. And I admire her for that.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Book Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution
Series/Sequel? No
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Genres: Romance, Hard Topics, Historical Fiction
Age Level: YA (12-18)
Page Count: 471 (Hardcover) 
Summary from inside flap of book:
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She's angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she's about to by expelled from Brooklyn Heights' mot prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break. 
 PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn't want - and couldn't escape. 
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing then other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine's diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There's comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal's antique pages - until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine's words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Review: I wasn't even really planning on picking up this book. I got it out, yes, but after it sat on my floor for a few days, I figured it would probably end up going back to the library, unread.

I am SO glad that didn't happen.

This book was... unlike anything else I have ever read. I have never really had an interest in the French Revolution, but this totally changed my perception on it. This story was beautiful, raw, and heartbreaking at times, taking an honest look and why people do the things they do, and if is possible to humans' nature to ever change. If it is possible to make this brutal world... un-brutal?

Maybe one of the reasons I loved it so much was that Andi and Alex were both musicians, greatly dedicated to their craft. Andi loves and lives in her music just like I do - and I felt as if I had this connection to both of them because of our love of music.

This book was also fairly... dark. If you want everything to be butterflies and rainbows, I would not suggest this for you. Andi is on anti-depressants, but is still constantly thinking about suicide and death. Yeah... not the happiest. But I still enjoyed it BECAUSE of the darkness.

There was a small romance between Andi and Virgil, which I liked, but still found kind of unnecessary.  I always love romance, but I didn't think it was a necessary, or even a good, subplot.

A few complaints: it seemed to lag a little bit, at times. I feel as if there were parts that could have/should have been cut out, because they just lagged and I would find myself checking how much I had left. Another complaint was Amade Malherbeau. He plays a major part in this story. So, after reading it, I go on YouTube to try and see if I can find his Fireworks Concerto, which is mentioned multiple times in the book. And guess what - HE'S NOT REAL! THE AUTHOR MADE HIM UP!! That annoyed the heck outta me. I think it's annoying that Jennifer Donnelly made up a musician/composer. I mean, yeah, it must have been easier than researching someone else, but I still think it was kind of annoying.

All in all, this was a wonderful, eye opening read. I would highly recommend it to historical fiction nerds/lovers of the French Revolution.


Book Review: Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford

Title: Carter Finally Gets It
Series/Sequel? Followed by Carter's Big Break
Author: Brent Crawford
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Romance
Age Level: YA (13-18)
Page Count: 300
Summary from back of book: Join Carter for his freshman year, where he'll search for sex, love and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he'll almost kill a trombone player, face off against his greatest nemesis, get caught up in a messy love triangle, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself. 

This book contains lewd humor, underage drinking, illicit fantasizing, and very bad decision-making.

Review: This was a book I read for book group, and so I was kind of required to read it. If not, I never would have picked it up. On the back of this book, there are also three quotes from reviews, all stating this book as hilarious. And it might of been hilarious...

If I was a fourteen-year-old guy. 

But I'm not, and so that probably leaked some of the humor from the book. Most of the time, in fact, I was debating with myself whether or not guys actually think like this, are that concerned with the things that Carter was concerned about. Which pretty much filtered to two things: sex and coolness level. I did find it amusing, however, some of the solutions Carter got himself into, and the way he handled it. I thought it was amusing how he was gullible and willing to do anything to get himself a girl. 

This book was written in first person in Carter's POV, which scored it brownie points. 

If you are a teenage boy - or a male adult, wanting to look back on childhood - I would suggest this book. You will (possibly) be able to relate. (I say possibly because I have no idea what actually goes on in the minds of the male species.) If you are a teenage girl wanting to shake your head because of the obvious idiocy of teenage guys, I would also suggest it. However, if you want something deep and meaningful and romantic and poignant... I would say skip it. 


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