Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: Dead to You, by Lisa McMann

Title: Dead to You
Series/Sequel? No
Author: Lisa McMann
Genre(s): Hard Topics, Realistic Fiction, Relationships
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 243 (Paperback)
Perspective: First Person (Male)

Summary: Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has returned to his family. It’s a miracle…at first. Then the tensions start to build. His reintroduction to his old life isn’t going smoothly, and his family is tearing apart all over again. If only Ethan could remember something, anything, about his life before, he'd be able to put the pieces back together. But there’s something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable...

Review: The one thing to say about this book: it's an extremely quick read. I was finished in one sitting of two hours. The page count itself is pretty short, yes, but also just the way it is written lends itself to be finished quickly.

I think the urgent quality of the plot is definitely a part of that. Things start off seemingly with the ending: Ethan De Wilde, who was kidnapped from his suburb when he was seven, has been reunited with his family after nine years through the Child Protection Services. But then he goes home, and things go from bad to worse, relationships build and break, and then BAM! it's finished.

And the ending... I've seen a lot of people on Goodreads complaining about the ending and how it was too abrupt and left too many questions unanswered. And I agree with that, to some extent. It was an extremely abrupt ending that slapped you in the face and left many questions unanswered, unless you were intelligent enough to piece together small clues throughout. Too-small clues, in my opinions. Who is Ethan, then? is everyone's question at the end. I had no idea either, until I went to the book group in which I read this book for, and the people who understood it told us that Ethan is actually David, Ellen's biological child. I didn't get that until they told me and explained it to me multiple times. And even now, I'm still not sure I like that twist and that explanation.

I thought that the summary was somewhat misleading. With the last line "But there's something that's keeping his memory blocked. Something unspeakable." I thought that it was going to have a paranormal twist of some sort, even a small one. And that kind of threw me off as I was actually reading it and found that it was pure realistic fiction.

I feel like I should probably forewarn you about how dark this book is. It's extremely dark and scary, and it's not for someone who gets scared easily. It's for someone who wants to think, and who wants some well-written realistic fiction and real-world problems to do so.

Realistic fiction is not my genre by any means, but realistic fictions and dark, thoughtful story fans will definitely enjoy this one!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Review: Nightshade, by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Series/Sequel? Nightshade #1
Author: Andrea Cremer
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 452
Perspective: First Person (Female)

Summary:Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Review:I've never liked werewolf books. Ever. Every single werewolf book I've read, I've been less than impressed with. I'm not typically an animal fan, and so I guess I don't see the attraction of a human turning into an animal. So I didn't think I was going to like this book. But I did, much more than I thought I was.

The summary doesn't really do this book justice. It doesn't make it sound as interesting or well-written or just as great as it actually was. This was a great, interesting, riveting, amazing, fantastic, addictive, wonderful, etc., addition to an over-saturated genre. And maybe I've read too few werewolf books, but I though the way the myths and rules of the werewolf world were entirely unique as compared to everything else I have ever heard of or read.

But of course, this is a YA Paranormal Romance book. And of course, that means that it contains a love triangle. Shay, the mysterious new human boy who doesn't act human, vs. Ren, a werewolf who has been Calla's preordained mate since they were tiny. And though it was still a love triangle, with all the necessary parts, including sexual tension, confusing, fights (physical, mental, and emotional), and some (okay, more than some) make-out sessions. And yet, it didn't feel like the stereotypical love triangle. Andrea Cremer, it seems, is one of those authors who can put new life into a WAY overused plot point. And I loved it.

All in all, a great book I would definitely recommend for someone looking for some great Paranormal Romance! I can't wait to read the next book!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Redesigning - Your Opinions?

 So, I'm looking to make some changes to this blog, including the blog name and the title image. So, I thought up one blog name, and made several images for it:

Yes, the blog name I came up with was Dressed in Poetry. But I was wondering if all of you other interesting, intelligent people can think of any good names for this blog. Maybe Royal or Regal Reviews? Or, if you like Dressed in Poetry, which of the blog images is your favorite?

So, blog name ideas? Or, if you like Dressed in Poetry, which of the blog images is your favorite?


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book Haul (1)

Things I borrowed/received this week:

Borrowed (from assorted libraries):

Clarity, by Kim Harrington (Clarity #1) 
This is one of those books that I've seen a lot on other book blogs, and so I'm interested in reading it. 

Fury, by Elizabeth Miles (The Fury Trilogy #1)
The cover and the title drew me in originally, and then I found that it sounds like my type of book: 
Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.
Em and Chase have been chosen.
Doesn't that just sound amazing? I'm really excited to read this book!

The Juliet Club, by Suzanne Harper
I really have no concrete reason for picking up this book. It was more one of those "Well, I've only checked out five books, I need more" cases, and so I saw the word Juliet in the title and figured that this maybe just a cute, light book to read.

The Forsaken, by Lissa M. Stasse (The Forsaken #1)
Even though this book sounds something like the typical dystopian book, I'm actually really excited to read it.  Hopefully it lives up to my excitement!

UnWholly, by Neal Shusterman (Unravel #2)
I loved Unravel, and wished at the time I had read it that it had a sequel. And then I learned about this. Needless to say, I'm extremely excited to read this book!

Lucid, by Adrienne Stolz and Ron Bass
This is another book that I picked for absolutely no reason. I'm not even sure if I'll end up reading it, but I did pick it up and take it home.


Dead to You, by Lisa McMann
I received this from a book group that I'm in. I must say, I loved reading Lisa McMann's Wake series, and this sounds like a very dark, heavy book - just the type of stuff I love! I hope this turns out to be great!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Body Finder
Series/Sequel? The Body Finder #1
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre(s): Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 327 (Hardcover)
Perspective: 3rd Person (Female)
Summary: Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey herself.

Review: This book was great. I was pretty indifferent going into it, and then when I saw that it was in third person POV - which I typically dislike because I don't feel as connected to the characters while reading third person - I felt a bit of foreboding. Like an "Oh no, I'm not going to like this book" feeling. But despite the fact that it was third person, I still really liked it.

This book can fall under a few different genres: romance, mystery, paranormal, even some could count it as almost realistic fiction. Because everything in this book was very subtle: it wasn't a paranormal book, or paranormal romance or paranormal mystery. It is a variety of genres, with emphasis not being placed on a particular genre, but just the story as a whole. And because of this, it can attract a variety of readers with a variety of tastes.

And looking at the genres as separate, they were each written very well in themselves. The romance was definitely both swoon- and aw-worthy, the mystery was wonderfully laid out, and the paranormal portion was explained well. And no matter your preference, the suspense and addictive quality of this book will keep anyone reading!

This is the first in a four-book series, but I'm intrigued to see what is coming next, because the way that this book was neatly tied up at the end would make me think it was a standalone, if I hadn't know better.

No matter your tastes, I would definitely recommend picking up this book!


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sorry, Technical Difficulties

Obviously, I'm having some technical difficulties with the look of this blog. Sorry! I'm still pretty new to Blogger, so I'll try to figure it out ASAP! Hopefully it'll be fixed soon!


Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Title: Prodigy

Series/Sequel? Legend #2
Author: Marie Lu
Genre(s): Dystopian
Summary: June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

I loved the predecessor, Legend. It was just so awesomely amazingly amazing. Either 4.5 stars, or a 5. And I ordered Prodigy and Legend from Barnes and Noble. And it's shipping January 29th. Which means I should have it by February 6th. And I'm just can't wait! Legend ended and I felt like I automatically needed the next book. Needless to say, I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

Leave your WoW in the comments and I'll check it out!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Series/Sequel? The Jenna Fox Chronicles #1
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Genre(s): Dystopian, SciFi, Hard Topics
Age Level: 10 and up
Page Count: 265 (Paperback)
Perspective: 1st Person (Female)
 Summary: Everything is different

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma - so she's been told - and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She's been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won't anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions.

What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?

Review: I heard this book was amazing. Every review I read, every person I talked to who had read it, said it was amazing. So maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe it just wasn't my type of book, but I was disappointed.

One of the main reasons I think I didn't like it that much was because of the characters. I didn't connect with them. I felt like I didn't connect with anything in this book. I felt removed and separate from the story and the characters the entire time I was reading it. And that was a majorly hurt my level of enjoyment as I read this book.

I also thought, based on what everyone else said and reviewed, that the writing of this book was going to be great. And the writing of this book was good enough I guess. The way it was written definitely fit the story itself But it wasn't riveting, and I've read books that were much more interesting and suspenseful.

And it wasn't that this book wasn't interesting. The premise was unique and interesting and I loved that about. And it wasn't that this book wasn't suspenseful. There was a ton of suspense in this book. But once again, I didn't feel the expense and the urgency of the characters and the story because I wasn't connected.

So, yes, I'm extremely disappointed. I felt like this was a great book if only I could - to use the word one last time - connect. But despite all that, I would still recommend this book. I think many others will enjoy it, or at least find it an interesting book to think about.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book Review: Crewel, by Gennifer Albin

Title: Crewel
Series/Sequel? Crewel World #1
Author: Gennifer Albin
Genre(s): Dystopian
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 357 (Hardcover)
Perspective: 1st Person (Female)

Summary: Enter a tangled world of secrets and intrigue where a girl is in charge of others destinies, but not her own.

Sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has always been special. When her parents discover her gift—the ability to weave the very fabric of reality—they train her to hide it. For good reason, they don’t want her to become a Spinster — one of the elite, beautiful, and deadly women who determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die.

Thrust into the opulent Western Coventry, Adelice will be tried, tested and tempted as she navigates the deadly politics at play behind its walls.  Now caught in a web of lies and forbidden romance, she must unravel the sinister truth behind her own unspeakable power.  Her world is hanging by a thread, and Adelice, alone, can decide to save it — or destroy it.

Review: I picked up this book for two reasons: the cover looked cool, and the author was coming to talk and sign in my town in a few months.

... I still don't really have any other reasons for reading it.

For one, this book had an extremely slow "start". And by "start", I mean the first half of this book. I was indifferent and disinterested until about page 140 out of 357 pages, and then things (finally!) began picking up. I'm not sure why that was, exactly. There was action, and there were things happening that should have been interesting, but they just... weren't. It took 140 pages for this book to actually start.

This book was also fairly predictable. All the "big reveals" and "twists" and such, I caught almost immediately, at the barest amount of foreshadowing. Maybe I've read too many YA books, but the amount of predictability and cliche used in this book was just awful.

Now, I don't want to say that this book was totally awful, either. Skimming the reviews on here, I'm seeing a lot of "creative"s and "unique"s. And I don't disagree with that. This was a very unique and creative world, with the world being made of a weave. Of course, it wasn't the first time I've seen weaving being such an integral part of the story, and related to life and reality and the world. So it was creative... to an extent.

The one other thing I actually liked with this story was the prose. The writing itself was actually really good, and I found six quotes in this book that I really liked (The average per book for me is about 3 or four.) The way she strung words together was great.

So, that's my personal opinion. But I think this is the type of book that (judging from the amount of fours and fives I see here) it really depends on the reader. Try reading it for the writing, and the world.



"It's how I imagine death will come to me: overdressed and smoking."

- Page 106
"He was a husband, a father, and I'm nothing and never will be. I guess the Guild assigned us our roles after all."
 - Page 219
"The rest of the world is perfectly still, but we are in motion, crumbling into one another."
- Page 235
"Remembrance is never useless."
- Page 294
"'Adelice, you have the power to stop this.' she reminds me.
'I know,' I murmur. 'I just can't think of a good reason to.'"
- Page 349

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And now I kind of feel like an utter fail.

I was looking on one of my favorite book blogs, Down the Rabbit Hole, and I saw all of her challenges on the side. I clicked on one, the 2013 TBR PILE Reading Challenge, and found that it was hosted by another blog called Bookish. Then again, she's been blogging since 2010 and I only have (rather sporadically, I must add) for this past year. And she has 4000 followers, and I have 9 (whom I appreciate dearly). And she's much more experienced in blogging and her blog is much awesome-er than mine. But still. I'm just...

I guess I should have been more creative in my blog name... anyone have any ideas what I should change it to, or if I should change it?


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Book Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Series/Sequel? Mara Dyer #2
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre(s): Hard Topics, Romance, Paranormal
Age Level: YA
Page Count: 527 (Hardcover)
Perspective: 1st person, female
Summary:  Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

Review: In the first book, Michelle Hodkin weaves a deliciously creepy web of a story that gorgeously walks the line between reality and fantasy. And in this book, she does it again, only better. In the first book, there were a lot of problems with the way things were written, many parts that weren't laid out in the best way or passages that made little to no sense to me as the reader. In this book, she manages to keep the surreal quality while not having as many Wait, what? passages, though there were still a couple.

Another thing I loved about this was how much everything grew: from Noah and Mara's abilities to their relationship, to their characters themselves. You began to actually meet the characters, begin finding out who they were, and their reasoning behind many of their actions. Some of the whys of the previous book were answered as well, while leaving the reader with enough information to help them begin to understand, but withholding more in order to keep them guessing, and the tension and questions high. And while I thought the romance in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer wasn't particularly well-written, Evolution definitely made up for it.

Another thing about this book: it's more than 500 pages. It felt like 350. I've read books that didn't even pass 450 that felt like 800. It is completely compelling and addictive, just as much, if not more so, than the first book. It was a good thing it was break week for me, because otherwise it would have been torture trying to go through classes with this in my backpack.

I can't wait for The Retribution of Mara Dyer, coming out Fall 2013! (Can't find the specific release date, unfortunately.)




"'I like pushing your buttons.'"
"'You'd enjoy it more if I undid them first.'"
-Page 284, Mara and Noah respectively.

"'You will love him to ruins.'"
- Page 292

"As he stood there in his exquisite clothes, flawless features staring my down, he still looked like an arrogant prince. But only now I could see that his crown was broken."
- Page 347

"This was the boy I loved. A little bit messy. A little bit ruined. A beautiful disaster.
Just like me."  
- Page 353

"'I'm the creepy girl. In a mental hospital.'
 He grinned. 'Nobody's perfect.'"
- Page 452
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