Sunday, September 28, 2014

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Not much to say about this cover, it is pretty bleh for me. But as for the story, it was great. I loved the characters, the world, and the setting. I don’t know how Garcia and Stohl split up the writing, but I personally couldn’t tell a difference in style.

Having a YA book where the boy is the main character is a rarity, especially in the YA romance area. So I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that we would get to learn all about Casters and Gatlin from Ethan’s point of view. I loved that the book was about him finding his way in his messed up town with Lena. It wasn’t the typical damsel in distress that is seen in a lot of YA novels.

But as for the actually story, the entire novel counts down to Lena’s 16th birthday when her claiming will happen. This will basically decide whether she will be Dark or Light. But there is a curse on her family that doesn’t allow the children to choose. The countdown is a major theme in the book. And along the way we learn more about Casters and their histories.

This book contains a lot of mystery and twists that the reader is just thrown into and has to decipher as they come about. I really loved learning about all the different connections between Lena’s family and Ethan’s “family”. They basically all band together to be different from the rest of Gatlin.

Speaking of Gatlin, I love this town. Not in a way where I would ever want to live there, but in the way that it is freaking awesome how ridiculous there are. At the same time though, it is oddly realistic of small towns. Everyone is in everyone’s business and there are those that are outcasts in the town. Small towns don’t let you stick out and be different like the Ravenwoods and Wates tend to be. I loved how ridiculous some of the parents were with respect to Lena and her uncle. Some of the lengths they went to, to get her to leave town were absurd.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it definitely lived up to the hype surrounding it. Now it isn’t amazing, but it is decent novel that takes a different approach then the paranormal YA novels and I have to appreciate that.

3/5 Stars and I will be reading the rest of the series, because I have heard they get better. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

So first let me say gorgeous cover. As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a huge fan of awesome covers, they always lead me towards reading a book. This one is awesome with the city below the Divinity.
As for the book, we start off right away in the middle of a trial in a court room. I love how it started like this and introduced many of the characters through the court rather than other traditional ways. And then right away the purpose of the book is shown, a murder and the Divinities.

This is one of those books that I would never be able to talk about it out loud for fear of mispronouncing everything. The story itself takes place in Bulikov with characters like Mulaghesh and Jindash, Pangyui, etc. But regardless, the characters are still charming and intriguing. The story is a twist on the typical murder mystery genre since it also takes place in a fantasy world. The book is more than just a murder mystery, it involves many secret histories, a dystopian like aspect, plus magic (or miracles as they are called in the book).

There is a lot of world explaining and building that has to happen in this book since it is a fantasy setting, but Bennett does a good job of slowing explaining the setting and how everything came to be the way it is in Bulikov, especially the snippets at the beginning of every chapter. The world building in and of itself is a massive undertaking. There is the overarching government of Saypur and then the government within the cities like Bulikov. There is also the presence and then disappearance and killing of the Divinities. Plus the War that lead to the world being the way it is. There was a lot to build in this book, but it is done in a fantastic way that is not boring.
The ending of this book definitely leaves it open for future books, but at the same time closes this chapter in Bulikov’s history.

And while I have said this book is a fantasy, it is so much more than that. This book encompasses many different genres and is a great read. The imagery within the book is amazing, just the way everything is described is perfect. I would definitely recommend it to people looking for a unique take on a fantasy novel or people who enjoy mysteries since this has aspects of that as well.

I was given this book by BloggingForBooks in exchange for an honest review. 

4/5 Stars

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Top 5 Wednesday- Non-YA Books

I actually have very few of my adult books here at school with me. But I do have two of my favorites: 
In no particular order:
  1. S. by JJ Abrams
  2.  Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith
  3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  4. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  5. Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason

 This book is so fantastic and even though it is really confusing with the margin notes and extras. It is basically just JJ Abrams showcasing his imagination.

I have not read The Silkworm yet, but The Cuckoo's Calling was amazing. Harry Potter showed that JKR could write mystery novels, this series has proved it.

A Tale of Two Cities is not only an amazing book, it also happens to be a classic. One that I will always cherish. Plus it has the best line ever!
"Do you think I particularly like you?"

Cloud Atlas is another bizarre book that takes you through different generations and time periods but with the same characters. This book was slow to get into, but in the end it was worth reading. The movie wasn't great though...

And finally, Jar City. I read this in my Crime in Scandinavian class and absolutely loved it. Plus it takes place in Iceland which is number one on my countries I need to visit list. And it is another crime novel which is where most of my adult fiction comes from.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Matt has a terrible life by anyone’s standards. He has parents who were only together because of an accidental pregnancy who are constantly fighting and drinking excessively, a recently deceased  brother, a relationship that is falling apart, depression, anxiety, etc. Reading this book was hard for me because of how horrible Matt was treated by those around him. Plus, for the most part he just dealt with it which was just sadder to me.

Throughout the book you learn that Matt’s brother was gay and committed suicide. This action basally leads Matt to lose his faith and no longer believe in a God. He writes this essay all about why God is not real that you get snippets of within the story. I really enjoyed those snippets because it gave the reader a better understanding of Matt and what was going on with him.

This is an Ellen Hopkins book, so it is written in verse. It is really different to read a book in verse, it is not something I have ever done before and it took some time to get used to it. But once I did it was not bad. The only thing that really bothered me was the lack of true dialogue. It was weird reading a book with such short sentences and pages.

Overall, this book dealt with some typically taboo themes and I really appreciated that Hopkins was tackling them. I enjoyed experiencing, through Matt’s eyes, how he dealt with all the negativity in his life and how he was able to come to terms with everything.

3/5 Stars

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Alienated by Melissa Landers

First, let me just say how amazing this cover is. I love the contrast between Cara’s Earth and Aelyx’s L’eihr. As for the actual book, it was a fun quirky read that was really enjoyable. There were some flaws in the story, but I appreciated the world development.

Landers clearly spent a lot of time flushing out the L’eihr society and culture and I was fascinated by how they ran their society. Learning about them through Cara learning was enjoyable. I also really enjoyed the exchange program aspect of this book, it was an interesting way to bring the species together. 

I also loved Aelyx’s reactions to different human things, especially the food. There were so many witty responses and comments that he made. I really appreciated the humor aspect of this novel. I also really liked the various snippets from Cara's blog and really wished there had been more of them.

But I have to say there was the stereotypical, we cannot stand each other, then gasp we’re in love. While that was obviously present in this novel, it did not bother me as much as I expected. The romance did seem rushed, but there was a definite friendship before it became love

I felt like the ending was a little rushed as well as the "solution" seeming to easy to achieve, but I'm sure the "solution" will not be as simple as it seems. The ending will definitely make for an interesting sequel that is for sure.

Overall, this was a solid book that I couldn’t put down. While it may not be amazing, its quirkiness definitely added to its appeal.

4/5 Stars

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

This series just keeps getting better and better. Heir of Fire was definitely the best book so far. Celaena was broken for a lot of this book, but Rowan is there to ground her. I loved all the background we got on Celaena's childhood. Plus the training sessions with Rowan were awesome!

The character and world development in this book was extraordinary and you can tell Sarah J. Maas is setting up the rest of the series.
I loved the alternating perspectives between Celaena and Rowan's story, Dorian and Chaol, and Manon and the witches. It let us know what was going on beyond what Celaena was experiencing. I'm not really sure what the purpose of Manon's story was/is, but I trust that it will become apparent in the next book. And Manon's story was interesting in terms of where she stands with or against Celaena.

And the new characters in the book, especially Rowan and Sorcha. They were great companions to the established characters when they needed it.

Overall this book was everything I wanted and now I need the next one.

5/5 Stars

Book Haul #1

So I recently splurged a bit and got 7 new books. Three of which I have already read in eBook form, but decided to get them in hardback!

I have already read the first two in the Throne of Glass Series and the novellas by Sarah J. Maas. But I wanted to get them in nice hardbacks, plus they are gorgeous! Sarah J. Maas is definitely one of my favorite authors.

And I now finally can read Heir of Fire. Having to wait since it came out on the 2nd has been killing me. But the plan is to read it straight in one sitting as soon ans I'm done with this post!!

I mean just look at that cover, Celaena looks like a BAMF!

Next is Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. I have heard so much about Stephanie Perkins and the Anna and the French Kiss Trilogy/Companion Novels, that I finally decided to see what everyone is talking about. I'm looking forward to reading these since I don't read a lot of contemporary. 

And finally there is Winger by Andrew Smith. And let me just say this book is so beautiful, between the spine and the awesome cover, to the back cartoon. It is just amazing. Again, I have heard a lot of hype about this book, so I'm looking forward to read it.

And now I will get started on my reading!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book absolutely infuriated me! But at the same time I loved it. I went into it with no expectations and no idea what it was about and that is how I think everyone should go into it.

A book hasn't made me this angry or caused this level of emotion in a long time.

I don't want to say anything else except everyone should read this book. And don't look up stuff about it. Go into it blind. 

4.5/5 Stars

Out-Of-This-World Teen Novels by Various Authors

As for the bundle itself, even though I haven't read the whole thing, I really love the variety it contains. As it is titled, each book focuses on different "other-worldly" characters.

In Between by Tara Fuller Review: This is one of those boy meets girl, falls in love, they are separated, and then the meet again books. This has a twist though, Finn is a soul whose job is to bring souls to the inbetween.

Emma by all conventions is a girl traumatized by an accident that left her fatherless. To everyone else she is imagining the people following her, the weird messages, plus she is having strange dreams. But what is happening to her is real. There is a vengeful soul, Maeve, who is out to get her.

While this story contains the same plot as a typical YA fantasy book, there are many aspects that where different and enjoyable. I really appreciated the way Emma reacted to Finn first revealing himself to her. She became paranoid and did not immediately believe him. I think a lot of books have this instant trust and connection between characters that is hard to believe. Fuller shies away from this by still having that connection but also have a layer of distrust to it.

I also really appreciate Cash. He is a loyal friend to Emma and does not see her perceived “illness” as an issue. He is always there for Emma and constantly getting her to open up to him and not bottle everything up.

The ended was happy as I expected it, but still with a twist. Overall, a pretty solid book. 

I received this bundle from Entangled Teen in return for a honest review. So far I have only read In Between by Tara Fuller

3.5/5 Stars

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book. I’ve read the first two in the series in the beginning of the summer and really enjoyed them. But I finally got to this one and it did not disappoint. The majority of this book was the preparation for the showdown and the saving of Beth and Chris. Katy, Daemon, and the other Luxen were all preparing for breaking the others out.

First off let me just say how much I hate both Will and Blake. I know they are the antagonists and part of the DOD problem. But they are just horrible individuals who ruin everyone’s happiness. And throughout this whole book, I wanted my gut feeling about Blake to be wrong. It bothered me that they had this sort of truce with him about breaking into the DOD facility.

Daemon and Katy are so perfect with each other. I absolutely love their interactions. I love that Katy is still a strong, independent character. She does not need Daemon to save her. While he is overly protective of her, he still respects her wishes and still lets her make her own decisions about helping them. I really appreciate how they respect and work with each other, it is refreshing to other novels.

Overall, I really enjoyed this 3rd book and with that ending, I really cannot wait to read Origin. I must know what happens to Katy and how everyone deals with the aftermath of this book.

3.5/5 Stars

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy is one of those series that everyone talks about. It is always compared to Twilight and other vampire series. I have been told by multiple people how much better Vampire Academy is. So I decided I would finally get around to reading the first in the series. I went into it with high hopes that it would be good, if not great. And I have to admit that while I didn’t love Twilight, I was a part of the craze surrounding it when it first came out. I went to the midnight releases and discussed the series with others. So back to Vampire Academy, I was really looking forward to this book and the characters within. I have to say though that I’m slightly disappointed.

While I enjoyed Rose’s narrative and the story that was being told. I really struggled with continuing to read. I think I just couldn’t get myself fully absorbed in the narrative to binge read this book like I do with many others.

That is not to say that this is a bad book, I just don’t think it is as compelling of a story for me. I love the mystery surrounding the Moroi and dhampirs. And I have to say I did not see the twist coming. I was pleasantly surprised by who was behind the attacks on Lissa.

The interactions with Dimitri were as expected for a YA novel. They left you wanting more between them, but at the same time you loved every moment they were together.

I thought the ending was a bit rushed with two major attacks happening in the last 30 pages or so. But I guess that allowed for a semblance of a conclusion before the next book.

Overall, this book did not live up to the hype for me. I just couldn’t get into it like I wanted to. I definitely am not dying to read Frostbite, but I may in the future.

3/5 Stars

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


Everyone is always raving about this book, so I finally decided to read it. I enjoyed it for the most part but there were still some moments where it just didn't pique my interest.

It started out slow but got better as it went on. The books starts with Juliette in a prison and eventually we meet Adam Kent. There is also Warner who has some ties to these characters.

There are still a lot of questions left to be answered in subsequent books. Why can both Adam and Warner both touch Juliette? What is really going on with the resistance and all the different powers people have? And what is Warner's true story?

But overall, this book was great. Tahereh Mafi has a very unique storytelling style that puts you right into the world.

4/5 Stars

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

So Assassin Nuns! What more could you ask for! This book piqued my interest purely because of said nuns. And yes they are nuns devout to Death, but it is a convent nonetheless that trains young girls to be assassins.

There is obvious female power and strength in this book with the convent being full of strong female characters. At the beginning of the book, we learn that Ismae has been treated horribly by both her parents and her husband. However, this does not stop her from escaping with the help of a priest who then takes her to Saint Mortain.

One issue I have with the book is Ismae’s immediate acceptance of her fate. She automatically trusts the nuns and believes in their cause after she survives the poisoning. She even convinces another girl to stay on her first night. Another is that after chapter 5 you jump three years ahead. While I understand that this was done to move the book along, it would have been nice to see aspects of her training.

The main chunk of this story is Ismae on her final test before taking her vows to Mortain. This test involves time with Duval. Duval is an interesting character who is clearly hiding things throughout the story but he still treats Ismae with respect and knows what she is capable of.

The interactions between Ismae and Duval throughout the book are fantastic. They are both respect each other and each other’s opinions on important matters. I love their various interactions and plotting. Together they are able to solve the mystery and find the traitor.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The world of Assassin Nuns is enticing and magical. Cannot wait to read more in the series

4.5/5 Stars

Friday, September 12, 2014

Teardrop by Lauren Kate

So this cover is beautiful, right? And I for one am huge sucker when it comes to covers. I know we shouldn't judge books by their covers, but I'm sure we all do it at times. However, this book is an example of a huge let down...
The book did not really have much going for it. Other than the interesting Atlantis storyline. It was confusing and the end was rushed. It was just like all of the sudden it was battle time and Eureka was on the verge of completing the prophecy.

On top of that, Ander was just down right creepy. I don't care that it was his job to look after her, he was basically stalking her. And it really bothered me that Eureka called her mom Diana. I know it was kind of explained, but the reason wasn't sufficient for me. It screams of a messed up childhood and unloving relationship. Granted Eurkea does mention at one point that her mom hit her for crying, so there is that.

Overall, this book had a good idea behind it, it just was not written in a way I enjoyed. And I think I have learned my lesson when it comes to Lauren Kate. I read Fallen and it was just as disappointing. I don't think I will be reading anymore of her books now. 

1.5/5 Stars

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

First let me just say, that last line was fantastic. It was really powerful. As for the book itself, I struggled at first with the jumping timeline and the different characters. But once I got into the book enough it was not as difficult to keep everything separate.

Now that I have finished the book, I really wish I could visit the Night Circus, it seems like such a magical place. Bailey was by far my favorite character and I loved figuring out how he fit into the circus and the story.

While the challenge between Celia and Marco was confusing at times, it played out nicely and ended in a way I did not expect.

Overall, this was a magical book that was at times slow and confusing. But the magic behind the circus kept me interested. 

4/5 Stars

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

This definitely lived up to all the hype for me. I love Rick Yancey's world and storytelling. I enjoyed learning about the aliens and what was going on in the world from both Cassie and Ben's perspectives. There are a lot of intricacies related to the aliens and what they are trying to do.

And while I knew eventually Cassie, Evan, Sammy, and Ben would meet up. I like the way that it actually comes about. I also appreciated how we didn't found out who was human vs. Other until towards the end, and even then, we don't know everything.

5/5 Stars

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Ember is an interesting character. The world she lives in is so messed up and backwards that it amazes me that she was able to survive for so long before the events of this book transpired.

When her mother and her are taken and it makes no sense, she is always thinking about her plan to get back to her mother and be free. It is all she thinks about. Chase and her band together to get to safety with a lot of different obstacles along the way. The government, other civilians, and even each other cause problems throughout the story.

I love the flashbacks in the book about Chase and Ember’s relationship before everything changed. They really shed some light on what happened between them before he became a solider. But at the same time, these two characters are beyond frustrating. As soon as they start patching things up, one of them has to go and destroy all that progress. They can just be so stupid sometimes.

Overall, this was an action packed book with many twists and turns along the way. I really enjoyed the backwards world that Simmons has created.

4/5 Stars