Sunday, November 25, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

First in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

5 stars

Black handprints start to show up on doorways. In one of these doorways, there is a shop. A shop where demon collects human teeth for wishes, but these teeth are becoming scarce. In the beautiful streets of Prague there is a young girl. A girl with freakishly blue hair and she’s in the middle of a war. Karou draws creatures in sketchbooks and everyone thinks they are just the work of a talented artist, but they are real. No one knows where she came from and she wants to know why she’s so different. When she meets a beautiful stranger named Akiva in an alley her questions are answered and her world destroyed. I’m rereviewing this because my previous review was somewhat choppy and mostly jumbled thoughts of the aftermath of finishing this book. What an amazing book it is! I grabbed this book in the library not knowing much about it, but having high hopes. I had heard a lot of good things about this book and I was hoping I would like it just as much as everyone else. From the first page I was drawn in. I was swept away by the beauty of Taylor’s writing and of the world created. This book probably sounds a lot like most YA books, but it’s not. This book deserves its own genre. It’s that amazing. This book was full of secrets and wonders and mysteries with each knew I found myself tearing into them. I didn’t want to stop reading. I wanted this book to last forever.


The main female character is Karou. Karou is very different from most heroines. She is strange, but in a good way. She’s mysterious and no one knows anything about her. She doesn’t really know much about herself. She’s one of my favorite characters. I’ve never come across a character like Karou. She’s a gem in a sea of stones.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 10

The main male character is Akiva. Excuse me while I say this, but I love this guy’s name. It’s fun to say. OK now that I’ve got that out of the way. I really like Akiva. He isn’t nearly as prominent of a character as Karou, but he’s story is just as interesting. I have so many mixed emotions toward him right now though and it’s been months since I’ve read this book, but the hurt is still fresh.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 9.5

The Villain- Yeah, no. Read the book and find out for yourself. I don’t want to spoil anything!

Villain Scale: 8


Zuzanna is also a refreshing friend in YA. She’s a lot like Karou, but nothing like her at all. I know it makes no sense, but it’s hard to describe. I like Zuzanna she brings life to the book just as much as Karou does. The chimaera that raised Karou are Brimstone, Issa, Kishmish, Twiga, and Yasri. I love the chimaera. They are so different and just all so live and they have their own personalities. Razgut is actually the way I would expect a fallen angel to look. Taylor does it right and it seems more believable than most of the attractive males in YA. Madrigal is well I’m not going to spoil who she is because I know people haven’t read it yet.


Character Scale: 10
Laini Taylor had me wrapped around her finger. I would always think I knew what would happen next and then what would happen was more shocking and sometimes heartbreaking. Taylor’s world was fleshed-out and I felt like I was in the streets of Prague watching everything alongside Karou and Akiva. I went in to this book thinking there would be no romance. I didn’t know what to expect. There was romance and it was beautiful and heartbreaking. I wantSCRATCH need Days of Blood and Starlight! I need it now, but I have no money for it. I will own and soon. Someway it shall be mine and I’ll know the beauty of this world again. This book turns me into a fangirling mess.



See what it does to me?


Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. The mask is so pretty and so blue. I want a mask like that, but this cover isn’t nearly as beautiful as Days of Blood and Starlight’s cover, but it’s still beautiful.



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

First in the Warm Bodies series

4 stars

R is a zombie. He doesn’t remember his name or where he comes from, but R is different from most zombies. He eats brains along his zombie comrades and ravages the destroyed American landscape, but he craves for something more than brains and the feeling of life they give him. He is one of the few zombies that can speak, not full sentences, but grunted syllables. After experiencing the memories of a teenage boy during an attack he saves Julie, the boy’s girlfriend. As an awkward friendship starts to form he feels himself changing into something else. I definitely wasn’t expecting that at all. I thought Warm Bodies was going to an epic zombie novel with great action scenes and a fiery romance. It wasn’t that, but I’m not disappointed at all. I hadn’t heard of Warm Bodies until sometime in August when I heard it was going to be a movie and I had seen the movie poster. The movie poster deeply resembles Twilight’s.


Aside from the similar poster when I saw the trailer I knew it wouldn’t be like Twilight at all. I rushed to my library and checked this book out immediately. The thing that’s most impressive about this novel is the writing. Marion has a way with words and he reminded me of King’s writing at times. I didn’t feel all that connected with the characters.


The main male character is R. R, well R is R. I’m not exactly sure how to explain him. Yes he is a zombie. Yes he thinks like a human. No isn’t a mindless flesh eater. His life in the airport, which is his zombie along with hundreds of other zombies, was very dull. He acquired a wife and children in the strangest way. I enjoy R’s point of view and it’s not very often that I read a full male perspective novel. R is probably one my favorite zombies I’ve come across. I haven’t come across a lot, but I’ve read about a few and he definitely stole my heart.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 9

The main female character is Julie. I don’t feel connected to Julie. There were a few times towards the end when in the stadium when I did, but for the longest time she seemed like a cardboard cutout. She’s very different in the stadium though. Realer, but at times slightly annoying. I don’t really care for her because well I feel like I don’t really know her. She seemed more like a zombie at times. I want more character development for her in the next book.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 7.5

The Villain- The Boneys are zombies that have lost all their flesh and are just bones and skeletons. They are passed zombies and are something else completely. The scene at the end has me confused to Boneys and I’m not sure if they should be taken as a threat or as just another thing of life. I don’t really feel intimated by them. I wouldn’t want to run into them on the street, but I expected them to be a lot worse.

Villain Scale: 8

There were a few supporting characters in Warm Bodies. The biggest is Perry, the teenage boy that R ate and Julie’s boyfriend. I liked Perry he was complex. He started out happy, full of life, but he started to turn colder and he stopped living life. It was like he completely gave up on everything and was just going through the motions of life. M is R’s friend and fellow zombie. I really liked M. For a zombie he was pretty funny and I liked the ending for him. Nora is Julie’s friend and she spends most of her time with R and Julie in the Stadium. I liked Nora, she was vibrant and funny. Julie’s father, Mr. Girgio or General Girgio, was like Julie said already dead just not yet decayed. I didn’t like him all that much, but I did like Rossio, his friend and colleague.


Character Scale: 8

I’m not exactly sure why Marion made such a big deal about the fact that this wasn’t a YA novel. You have Stephenie Meyer saying what a great book on the front cover, people might assume this. I don’t think it’s YA though. Keep that in mind. There is lots of violence and gore for the first chapters as it mostly R eating brains. There’s smoking of marijuana and underage drinking. Not all that different from some YAs, but I personally don’t feel it’s a YA novel.


Marion did bore me for the longest time with part one and R’s time in the airport, but the second and third parts were great. Marion writes great action scenes though. I didn’t want to put this book down when I got to that part. I was entranced and I didn’t want the wonder to stop. Overall it’s a pretty good book, not amazing, but definitely worth reading especially if you love zombie novels.


Cover Thoughts: I don’t really care for the cover. It’s not a bad cover, but I don’t really like it all too much. I guess it fits, but I personally think the cover could’ve been better.




Friday, November 23, 2012

Before I Die by Jenny Downham



Before I Die by Jenny Downham

5 stars

Tessa only has a few months left to live. She’s tired of the constant hospital visits, tests, and drugs that seem to do more harm to her body than good; she decides to make a list. The list is a list of things to do before she dies. She calls it “To Do Before I Die”. The first thing she wants is sex. So her best friend Zoey takes her out. As Tessa starts to complete new things on the list she starts to feel alive again. As Tessa makes a new relationship with her neighbor she wonders what will happen when she’s gone. Before I Die is a book I will never forget. Ever. This book will always be with me. Tessa’s story was real, sad, touching, and utterly depressing. I knew what would happen, we all did, but when you read from Tessa’s POV you want her to live and survive and be with Adam.


The main female character is Tessa. Tessa is one of the most compelling teens I’ve come across in YA. It’s hard to read about someone experiencing what she is, but I somehow managed to read it all in one sitting.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8.5

The main male character is Adam. I loved Adam. He was simple and sweet. Just what Tessa needed and I feel for Adam. I remember when I finished reading this I thought to myself immediately, “What happens to Adam?” Does he find happiness, love, his dreams, where does he go now that Tessa has died? I want to know about what happens to him after his love with Tessa. I think it would be amazing. I don’t need a love story I feel like I need to know he has had closure.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 9

The Villain- *sighs* Do you really need me to tell you when it’s obvious from the summary what she has? If you didn’t figure it out which I could understand if you didn’t if it hadn’t been for my cover I wouldn’t have realized it either.
(view spoiler)


Villain Scale: 10

Zoey, Tessa’s friend, had moments when their friendship felt fake and flat. I didn’t like her very much for a while, but towards the end she grew on me and I want to know about her life as (view spoiler)I loved her family. They weren’t the most functional family, but they were there for her. At least her dad and brother were.

Character Scale: 8.5

This isn’t my best review or most thought out. I’m not really sure how to compile all the reasons I loved this book. I read it when I was in the seventh grade and it’s still fresh in my mind. It also probably doesn’t help that I’m listening to Alesana and I’m distracted, but that’s a whole other story. I loved this story. If anyone asked me what my favorite book is that opened my eyes and made me think about life and death and other things, it would be this book. I suggest a box of Kleenex when you read this because I cried rivers of tears. I will always feel connected to these characters and one day I’ll want my kids to read this book. Let’s face it I can’t do this book justice. I don’t think anyone can. You have to read it yourself to understand it.


P.S. Did you know there’s a British movie starring Dakota Fanning based on this book called Now Is Good? I didn’t know until today. I might watch it one day.


Cover Thoughts: This book has several covers. I had this one:
 
I feel like this one speaks to people. It’s not my favorite of the covers my favorite is this one:
 
But I loved my cover even if it’s not the most beautiful because it’s real and true the book. That’s what makes a good cover. 

To see the review with spoilers click here. Thanks for reading and I'm late but I was with family yesterday so HAPPY SUPER LATE THANKSGIVING!



You Against Me by Jenny Downham

 You Against Me

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

5 stars

What would you do if your sister accused somebody of rape? What would you do if your brother was the being accused? Mikey McKenzie’s younger sister, Karyn, accuses Tom Parker of raping her. Mikey vows to protect Karyn and starts a plan to make Tom feel the pain his sister feels. When his friend Jacko says he wants in they decide to go through with it. Mikey ends up Tom Parker’s front porch in hopes of acting out on the plan, but he meets Ellie, Tom’s little sister. Ellie tells Mikey of a party for Tom’s bail and he and Jacko attend hoping to get information. What Mikey doesn’t expect is that his plan will turn into something completely different when he meets Ellie. Ellie is tired of constant revising and worrying if her brother really did what he was accused of. Mikey becomes someone she can truly be herself around and she loves that, but what will happen when she find out who Mikey really is? Even bigger what will Ellie do if Tom really did do what he was accused of? I wasn’t expecting this to be told in alternating POVs, but I think it was done beautifully. Once again I’m in love with a book by Downham. After reading Before I Die and being blown away I’ve hoped that Downham would release another book. I saw that she had and this book has been on TBR list for a whole year. I wasn’t expecting to be on such an emotional journey. I didn’t cry like I did with Before I Die, but I had so many emotions. I think that’s what makes Downham such a great writer. She elicits emotion in her writing and stories. I’ll admit the synopsis on the jacket hadn’t drawn in me and I was wary of it, but that wariness went out the window with just a couple of chapters.


The main female character is Ellie. I really liked Ellie. She was relatable and strong, but she questions things and worries like a person. I always felt like Ellie was real and not just another character. She had a story and it needed to be told. I did hate how easily she could be swayed by her father. It angered me because she it’s obvious that she loves her father, but her father isn’t always looking out for her. Ellie did eventually break away but I understood her sorrow and it’ll never be the same in her household.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 9.5

The main male character is Mikey. Mikey is also very real. I loved how he was very human and wanted to protect his family. He was more of a father to his sisters and it shows how he loves his family. I don’t like how he thinks so little of himself and there was a point towards the end of the novel where this becomes a big part of his thoughts. But he is only human and humans doubt their selves all the time. I loved how he was just as caring towards Ellie as he was his sisters. I also enjoyed his dream of being a chief and I hope it’s a dream that he reaches.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 9

The Villain- This is the part of my review that I don’t want to talk about it… it’s just a big part of the novel, but this sums up my feelings.






Villain Scale: 9

There were quite a few supporting characters in this novel. Jacko, Karyn, Holly, Mikey’s mother, Tom, Ellie’s parents, and Dex are the ones that are more prominent. I have mixed feelings about Jacko. I liked him at first, but I started to feel like he did more harm to Mikey than good sometimes. I still like him though even though he can be a real jerk, but he’s real and he’ll always be there for Mikey even when Mikey’s doesn’t want him to be. I like Karyn since she shows how a teenage girl deals with rape, but I can’t say I like her as a person. I don’t think she deserved what happened to her and I wish she wouldn’t have gone to the party in the first place or that her friend wouldn’t have left her there alone. Compared to her little sister Holly she is isn’t as radiant in life, which I understand because of what, but even towards the end when she starts going outside again I feel like she’ll never be truly happy again. Holly is probably my favorite of the minor characters. I feel like she was the one thing to brighten up Mikey’s life before he met Ellie. Mikey and Ellie’s parents are both very dysfunctional and need to get their lives together before they can do healing. Mikey’s mom seems to be doing that though. Tom should fall in a whole. I hate what he did to Karyn and her family and his family. I don’t like him and he’s a villain but not THE villain. Ellie’s dad should fall in a whole with Tom. I get that he wants to protect his son from going to jail, but he has a daughter and he needs to think about her too. Dex was Mikey’s mentor and always there for him and was like a father to him.

Character Scale: 9.5

All of these characters are real. They have substance and a place in the story. I did have a problem getting used to the heavy British slang though. I haven’t read a book set in London or its surrounding areas in a long time. It became easier to understand their slang after a while, but it took time. I also don’t like how it seems like Downham doesn’t use periods after addressing a superior figure. I remember that she didn’t do that in her previous book, but every time I would see Mr I wanted to scream and write periods in the place of where it should be. I couldn’t do that since it’s a library book and I don’t like writing in books. I like how both Ellie and Mikey wanted to get information out of each other at one point and it backfired. It was probably one of my favorite scenes in the novel. Downham didn’t disappoint and I hope she writes more books because she is definitely one of my favorite writers as of this book.


Cover Thoughts: I actually like the cover. Call me crazy but I think it’s beautiful. It fits this book for some reason.








Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Breaking Dawn (Twilight #4)

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Fourth in the Twilight series

2 stars

SPOILERS Ahead! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Alas, we are finally at the end of a long road of sparkly vampires, oversized dogs, stalkers, obsessive friends, and a Mary Sue who ran the show. Breaking Dawn is a big ass book. It is whopping 756 pages! For a fifth grader (which was how old I was at the time of reading this) it was humungous and I still look at the thing from across my room taking up more space than any book should. Of course it doesn’t nearly come close to It or Gone with the Wind in size but it’s humungous. Breaking Dawn is broken down into three parts: Part One-Bella, Part Two-Jacob, and Part Three-Bella. Meyer wanted to be daring by giving us Jacob’s POV which I will admit was sometimes interesting, but I often found myself wanting to hurry being done with the second part so I could read from Bella’s eyes. Part one focuses on Bella and Edward’s wedding and party. They then travel to their honeymoon on Esme Isle, which is a private island owned by Carlisle for Esme. After a lot of sex and eating of eggs Bella realizes she’s pregnant. After Carlisle confirms that Bella is pregnant, they rush home to Forks. Their baby (half-vampire, half-human) grows at an alarming weight causing Bella to be bedridden. Edward is afraid the baby will kill Bella and tries to get her to abort the baby, but Bella refuses because she feels connected to the fetus. Part two follows Jacob for which seemed like way too long. Jacob goes against his pack because they want to kill the baby and Bella. Bella soon gives birth after only a short period of time. The birth breaks Bella’s bones (try saying that five times fast) and Edward turns her into a vampire injecting her with his venom via syringe. Jacob tries to kill Reneesme (the baby) but ends up imprinting on her. For part three we are back to Bella and she’s now a vampire. Something she’s wanted to be since she found out Edward was a vampire and fell in love with him. Irina, Laurent’s mate, travels to Forks after her family convinces her to reconcile. She mistakes Reneesme for an immortal child, a child turned vampire who wreaked havoc and destroyed villages, and she goes to the Volturi. The Cullens gather allies after Alice has a vision of the Volturi coming. The Volturi want to start a fight because they still aren’t sure about Reneesme, but Alice and Jasper bring evidence of others like her. The Volturi leaves, nobody dies, and Bella and Edward and Jacob and Reneesme live happily ever after.  


The main female character is Bella. Bella was insufferable for the first part of the book with her constant I don’t deserve this and blah blah blah. She becomes better as a vampire though. I actually like vampire Bella a thousand times more than human Bella. I do think naming her kid Reneesme was a bad choice though.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2

The main male characters are Edward and Jacob. Edward was still a jerk. Trying to get Bella to kill the baby because he didn’t want her to die made him no better than the pack or the Volturi. He did like Bella become a lot better after her transformation. Surprisingly I enjoyed him. Jacob though well he worries me. I find it really creepy to imprint with a baby. He then jokes about it at the end with Edward asking if he can call him dad. >_> Ummm, yeah. I’ve heard people say that he wasn’t really in love with her but just looking out for her best interest. In a sense I think he is in love with her. Whether people accept it or not Jacob loves Reneesme and if it’s as a brother, lover, or friend there’s nothing we can do about. So stop fighting about it because they are both fictional characters!

Swoon Worthy Scale: Edward- 2 Jacob-2

The Villain- The Volturi are back. Honestly the Volturi aren’t threatening at all the books. I find them laughable. I saw Breaking Dawn Part 2 and let me say this Volturi in that movie are freaking scary. They are relentless and will stop at nothing to get what they want. Well at least Aro is. Aro is a jerk and creepy too. I thought he was a little wacko in New Moon, but he proves to need crazy pills at the battle scene in the movie. The movie is epic and the battle scenes are amazing. I will address something about that later on in the review though.


Villain Scale: 3

Reneesme is a character I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of the future. There is talk of a spin-off. To be honest, I’m interested in a spin-off featuring Reneesme. Alice, I love Alice. I think Breaking Dawn should’ve been written in her eyes. She was the savior without her they would’ve died. All hale Alice because she definitely deserves it. Jasper- I love you and you’re just cool. Emmett- I love your jokes and without you it would be boring in the Cullen household. Rosalie- I didn’t like you very much in the first book, but I came to like you more and more with each book. Carlisle and Esme- Forks would fall apart without Carlisle. It nearly did in Breaking Dawn or it seemed through Bella’s eyes and Esme you are probably a better mother figure than Bella’s own mom will ever be. Seth and Leah- Seth, you’re one of my favorite wolves and Leah, I hadn’t liked you at first, but I came to like you more and more. Charlie- At least you made an appearance in the book I had never seen so much of you before. To all the vampires that were allies to the Cullens- in the book you all confused me and I couldn’t keep up with which one was which, but I love you guys in the movie.

Character Scale: 3

I did enjoy Breaking Dawn, but I had a problem keeping track of characters and it seemed way too lengthy. As I mentioned earlier I really enjoyed Breaking Dawn Part 2 movie, but it proved to me something that I had suspected all along. If my memory serves me correctly there was no showing of Alice’s vision in Breaking Dawn to Aro, but in the movie it happens to be one of the most intense battle scenes I’ve watched on the big screen. The fact that it turned out to be a vision though made me realize Meyer is a cop out. All the people that would’ve died in the battle scene didn’t and the people that would’ve died are the people would’ve missed and mourned. (view spoiler)
This proved that Meyer is not at all a great writer. A great writer would’ve been able to give us an ending to a tragedy like this that made our hearts weep and make us wonder what would happen without them. Meyer took the easy way out by giving us stars and sunshine. That disappointed me. Of course books are like that. They sometimes don’t live up to their potential and take easy way outs, but the hopeless romantic side of me is glad that everyone is alive and that they got a happy ending.


Cover Thoughts: I like the cover. It’s my favorite of the books’ covers. It’s thought provoking and in a way if you think about it the Volturi does play a rather good game of chess.

To see the full spoiler review go here. 

I also noticed that I reached 50 followers! Thank you all so much! I love my followers and I'm sorry I don't host any giveaways! Thanks for reading and supporting my blog it means a lot to me!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

                                     

             Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
                             Today's meme is Top Ten Authors I'm Thankful For.


Wow this a tough one and it's also my first Top Ten Tuesday! So here goes nothing!

1. Richelle Mead- I am a huge fan of her VA series and it's probably my favorite YA vampire series. I also love Bloodlines. Mead introduced me to a whole new world of vampires and she me inspired me to think outside of the box with her odd and new take on vampires.
2. Sherrilyn Kenyon- Where to start with SK? I love her and she's probably my favorite adult paranormal romance author. I had first picked up her League series and it made me appreciate Sci-Fi romance. I'm not a big Sci-Fi fan but I love the League series. The Dark-Hunter series is one of my favorite series ever! I love Greek mythology and SK's take on vampires is so original and her characters always make me laugh and I feel connected to her characters. Plus the main setting for most DH books are in New Orleans and since I'm from Louisiana I love that!
3. Kerrelyn Sparks- She was my first adult paranormal romance series. I had only thought vamps, werewolves, and faeries existed in YA, but Sparks showed me a new world in her Love At Stake series, which is one of my favorites.
4. Ellen Hopkins- I have a soft spot for Mrs. Hopkins. If you haven't read at least one of her books I suggest you run to your library now and check one out! I first read Crank when I was in the fifth grade and I hadn't known it was such a deep topic at the time, but I loved it. I picked Crank back up a year later for a reread and delved into Glass. I later picked up all of her other books, but I'm sad to say I fell behind and the last published book I read by her was Perfect and I haven't picked up Triangles, Tilt, Collateral, etc. I do plan on going on another Hopkins binge one day though!
5. Lisa Kleypas- I love Lisa Kleypas. She's my favorite historical romance writer. That's saying something since I don't pick up historical often, but I love her Hathaway series! She's my second author that I read that wasn't YA and for that she's has a special place in my heart because she not only introduced me to historical romance, but to a world outside of historical YA.
6. Laini Taylor- She brought me the beautiful book Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Her writing is beautiful, lyrical and her story line is ground breaking. She's not afraid to take chances and be different in her story telling which inspires me to take chances no matter how outrageous they may seem.
7. Gayle Forman- I love, love this lady. I had bought If I Stay expecting some sappy paranormal story, but I got so much more than that. I was introduced to questions I've never thought about and it made me really think about life and the things I take for granted. Her sequel, Where She Went, also made me question choices and their outcomes. Forman has a way of making me question outlooks on life and I love that about her. I can't wait for Just One More Day!
8. Michelle Hodkin- I loved The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. It's a humongous book and I read it in a day. She's a great writer and she writes a story that makes you question if what you're reading is happening or if Mara is really crazy. I still don't know and I cant't wait to get my hands on the sequel, which is hopefully soon.
9. P.C. Cast- Call me crazy, but I love this lady. I think her characters in the HoN series are stupid and should all be killed, but I love her series! It's one of my guilty pleasures and in a way even though I hate the characters I do have soft spots for them too. Which is saying something because I don't know very many authors who create these many mixed emotions in me.
10. Nova Ren Suma- I've only read one book by her, but it was probably one of the best books I've read. She creates a world that I'm not all that sure about and I feel like I was more than in a dream than reading a book. I can't wait to get my hands on her books.

Notable mentions:

L.J. Smith
Simone Elkeles
J.R. Ward
Kody Keplinger
Melissa de la Cruz

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse (Twilight #3)

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Third in the Twilight series

3 stars

We are once again in Forks, Washington. Edward is back along with the rest of the Cullens, but things are different. Bella and Edward are engaged at the end of New Moon and are keeping it a secret. Jacob is a werewolf, which makes him a sworn enemy to the Cullens and by extension Bella because she one day hopes to become a vampire. Victoria is raising an army of vampires to fight the Cullens in hopes of concurring and getting revenge. All while in the midst of the battle she has to make a final decision between Edward and Jacob. To be honest, Eclipse was the best book in the series for me. The writing wasn’t all that bad like in the previous books. Was the writing amazing? No, I don’t think Meyer can give me an outstanding writing style with the Twilight books. The writing wasn’t nearly repetive as the previous books, but nowhere near as beautiful as Laini Taylor or some YA authors I’ve come across.

The main female character is once again Bella Swan. Bella Swan, have you ever thought about your initials and how they are BS? You know why they are BS? Well, because you’re full of BS. Bella, Bella, Bella, where to start. Well you were the most infuriating thing about this book. Forget Edward or Jacob’s idiotic selves, your idiocy takes the cake or in this cake a ring since you’re getting married.
 

Bella pulled a really stupid move during the battle and I’m sure all of us have read about it, seen it on the big screen, or heard about it through the Internet. Bella kisses Jacob right in front of Edward. This pissed me off even when I was a fan, but thinking back on it now even though I hate Edward it still pisses me off. What makes you think it is okay to kiss another man in front of your fiancé? Oh, I see you think it’s OK because there’s a pretty good chance Jacob might die or your dumb self knows that you’ll probably never see him again once you marry Edward. Bella Swan you’re full of BS and you are one stupid, ignorant girl. If you’re getting married I think you should start thinking about the outcome of these kinds of impulses that could get you in a vampire divorce. Is there such a thing as vampire divorce? Probably not and knowing how vamps work has to do with one of them dying. Hopefully it’ll be Bella if their happiness starts to fade.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 1

I was going to give her zero, but there were a few moments I did enjoy her.



The main male characters are once again Edward and Jacob. Edward didn’t piss me off nearly as much as Jacob. Jacob what don’t you understand? Just because you have the hots for Bella you can’t shove your tongue down her throat, especially not if said girl is ENGAGED! You know what I think Meyer just wanted us to be pissed off; well I am because cheating is wrong! Edward, I’m sad to say this but I sympathized with you for a little while. Of course it was only during that one part, but still that’s about all the love you’re going to get from me. Edward baffles me though still in this book. He’s been a virgin for over a hundred years. That’s a whole new meaning to 40-year-old virgin. I do somewhat respect him for holding for so long, but it also seemed like Meyer was pushing the belief that if you don’t wait until marriage you’ll go to hell. I’m Catholic and it’s a probably a shock to hear this, but I don’t think you’ll go to hell for having sex before marriage. At least not with today’s society because most teenagers I know would have a seat reserved for them in hell. I just don’t see why they had to wait until marriage. I get that Edward is old fashioned, but not everybody in the old days was pure and waited for marriage to have sex.


Swoon Worthy Scale: Edward- 1 Jacob- 0

The Villain- Victoria is back and she’s ready to get revenge on the Cullens. Victoria isn’t all that scary just manipulative and she pushes people to get what she wants. Her army was just a bunch of new vampires that were to driven with bloodlust to be able to do anything for themselves. Victoria was like the Queen Bee and they were her worker bees. When you think about it it’s a smart idea, but not all that original.

Villain Scale: 4

The werewolf pack and the Cullens put their differences aside for a couple of chapters to defeat Victoria, but by the end of the book they are once again enemies. I enjoyed learning more about the history of some of the Cullens mainly Rosalie. I enjoyed those stories, but if I remember correctly Bella attends a campfire like party and hears a Quilete tale, which was so utterly boring. I was intrigued by Bree Tanner though who was killed by the Volturi. Maybe I’ll read Bree’s story one day, but I’m not in a hurry to read it.


Character Scale: 3

That's right I enjoyed Eclipse. Was it perfect no, but I enjoyed it.


My main problems were Bella, Jacob, and how Meyer was pushing beliefs on the readers. Aside from that I did enjoy Eclipse and think it’s the best in the series. If you are curious about Twilight, but was disappointed with the first maybe skipping New Moon and going to Eclipse is the best idea.


Cover Thoughts: The cover is supposed to represent choices that Bella has to make. I think that it is Victoria’s red scarf and Meyer is trying to look deep by giving some stupid meaning. What would’ve really made that believable is if it was a string breaking. You know eternal soulmates string? No, well it’s a legend that I’ve read about a few times that says you and your soulmate are connected by a single red string.



Monday, November 19, 2012

Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Consort  (Guild Hunter, #3)

Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh

Third in the Guild Hunter series

5 stars

Vampire hunter and Made-angel, Elena Deveraux, and her archangel lover, Raphael, are back to in the city they call their home, New York. After battling Lijuan, Neha, and Neha’s daughter in the Refuge and China in the previous book they know trouble awaits. After a vampire viciously attack an all girls’ school- the school Elena’s half-sisters attend- it starts to be the domino effect of other horrific acts that vampires are starting to do. There’s only one person or reason these acts are happening. An archangel is rising from their Sleep. The archangel, Caliane, is finally rising after years of speculation from Raphael that his mother may still be alive. Caliane awaking is only the begging to a whole new battle that awaits both Elena and Raphael. There will be spoilers from the previous books. I loved Archangel’s Consort. I will admit I had a few bumps in the road the first 100+ pages, but it all started to fit together eventually. This is such a thrilling ride. It’s somewhat of an ominous telling of what could have been an apocalypse. Caliane awakening is a scary thing and even when she isn’t awake she’s causing destruction, more on that later.


The main female character is Elena. Elena is still being her kick-ass self, but she didn’t have the vulnerability like in Archangel’s Kiss. Elena still battles with (look away if you don’t want to see a spoiler) her mother’s suicide after the attack that destroyed her family. SPOILER END Elena and Raphael’s relationship was very different from the previous books. They were more relaxed and open towards each other. I liked seeing that. Elena is probably one of my favorite heroines in paranormal romance. She’s strong-willed and caring. Seeing her interact with her half-sister was touching, but I wish there would’ve been more.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 10

The main male character is Raphael. A lot of people hated Raphael in Angels’ Blood. Not me, I loved him from the start. Raphael is complex and he has faced pain, but it’s to be expected from a man as old as him. He’s seen as ruthless by humans and vampires, but Elena’s love has turned him mortal everyday and it shows in this book. I feel for Raphael and his reuniting with his mother was bittersweet for him. He also holds a special place in my heart. I’m sure he will always be one of my favorite archangels.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 10

The Villain- I want to say Caliane is the villain, but it isn’t that simple because there’s also Lijuan. Caliane is old, very old; older than Lijuan who was the oldest archangel of the Cadre. I have a feeling that if Caliane was in the Dark-Hunter world she would be Acheron’s aunt or cousin. She’s older than him and has been around for millennia. The thing about Caliane is I wanted to hate for what she did to Raphael, but when she woke she seemed sane not insane like before she Slept. Lijuan, though is the one that scares me. Even though Caliane could be a problem in the future, Lijuan will always be there to try to take power. Lijuan has evolved into something untouchable on Earth, but the fact she’s evolved has also made her unable to harm humanity, which is a good thing in some ways. I honestly have no idea what to expect from these villains because they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. P.S. The battle scene was EPIC!

Villain Scale: 9.5

I wanted more of Elena’s half-sister Evelyn. I felt like she should’ve been mentioned more and it didn’t seem like her interaction with Elena was fully touched upon. There weren’t enough scenes with Elena’s old friends. I wanted more Sara and Ransom. I love Illium, I want a book about Illium. Dmitri, he intrigues me and I wonder about him. Venom is freaking awesome and I want more about him. Really I just want more of these characters.


Character Scale: 9

This is the last book with Elena and Raphael for a while. Not the official last, but the last until one is written and published. Next up is Dmitri, which I’m sure, will be fascinating and a wild ride. I highly recommend reading this series if you haven’t. I love every minute of my ride with these characters and I can’t wait for more.


Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. It’s my favorite of the first three books. Elena looks so awesome, KA, and lethal. I want her wings. I also like how the bow that Sara’s husband made for her is on the cover. It fits the story, which is nice and I love when covers do that.





Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon (Twilight, #2)

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Second in the Twilight series

1 star

New Moon starts off on Bella’s eighteenth birthday in a dream. Bella sulks all day about the fact that Edward is staying forever young while she grows older. Alice throws a surprise birthday party at which Bella receives a paper cut when opening a gift and Jasper, Alice’s mate, attacks Bella causing a huge fiasco in Cullen paradise. Edward and his family then leave Forks. Edward claims that this is to protect Bella. Bella wallows in self pity and some other stuff goes down. I don’t want to give away the whole entire book in just a couple of sentences. I have to write a review after all. New Moon, where to start with New Moon? I know! How about the fact that even when I was a huge twi-hard fan of the books I absolutely hated New Moon? Yes I was a huge fan of the books when I first got my hands on them and I’m not ashamed to admit it, but that was years ago and I was only ten years old when I read New Moon. I remember even hating New Moon then. This book was a waste of space and should’ve just been skipped over completely. There were a few interesting things that happened, but were they didn’t make up for the lack of everything else in this book. Even as a ten year old I saw this and it will forever remain my least favorite of the series. I literally trudged through this book for two weeks and picking it up seemed to only make me want to fall asleep. Literally when I finished this book at the end of the day in my English I erupted with joy of finally being set free. I hated New Moon and I still do, but I hadn’t wanted to skip at the time since well I didn’t want to miss anything important. If I was to ever to a reread of the series, I would definitely skip this one.

The main female character is once again Bella. Remember in my last review how when I talked about the ending and how stupid it was to think that Edward would’ve transformed her into a vampire at prom? No well here it is to refresh your memory. Bella’s stupidity raged on after that. I think it got worse. New Moon starts off with Bella having a dream, which was a pretty boring and dumb dream. I get dreams are subconscious, but I feel like Bella’s subconscious was actually playing a cruel joke on her and us by boring us on her birthday. What a boring birthday if I may say so? I mean gosh all Bella did was mope and whine about the fact that Edward was a year younger than her.
 
Bella did it slip your mind that Edward only looks young, but he’s actually over a hundred years old? Therefore, he’s not younger than you and you don’t have to worry about the fact that you’ll be seen as a cougar. I don’t know how being a cougar is a bad thing. It’s a preference and it shouldn’t be judged so harshly like Meyer was implying. The only interesting thing about her birthday was when Jasper when crazy with bloodlust and it was awesome! 
 
Too bad he didn’t eat her. Edward then tells Bella that he doesn’t love her., he sure is you’re modern day Romeo, and then leaves with his family. Bella becomes emo and depressed for about five billion months and reading those scenes was unbearable.
 
Finally, Charlie said something and she started to make an effort of being social and talking with “friends” again. Bella eventually starts hanging out with Jacob and while she’s riding a motorcycle Edward appears to her in a spiritual form or in her mind. I’m not exactly sure because it was just so crazy. She then decides that she’s going to keep putting her life on the line just to hear Edward’s voice again. I just don’t know what to say to that. Who does that? Why would you risk your life over some guy that said he didn’t love you when he left you to die alone in the woods until finally a rescue team found your pathetic ass? Bella, you need to wake up, sit down, breathe, and get some counseling. She later runs into Laurent (more on that later). Overall Bella was so unbearable in this book. If you thought she was bad in Twilight it’s probably good if you steer clear of New Moon.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 0

The main male character is Edward and he is also joined by Jacob Black. Edward was only present for about a tenth of the book. Although I’m not completely sure since I didn’t document it. Edward is just as annoying as he was in Twilight, but now he’s just a constant thought in Bella’s head. “Edward, Edward. Would Edward approve of this? No, but I have to hear Edward’s voice again. Edward!” That was literally all he was for half the book. The way he broke up with her was cold. I mean he left her alone in the woods. The least he could’ve done is ran her back to her house with his super speed. Bella was literally so depressed after the breakup I’m surprised wild animals didn’t start coming sniff around her body. When Edward does make an appearance again it’s in Italy. The Vulturi was mentioned a little bit at the beginning of the book and Edward says they are powerful and should be feared and yadda yadda yadda. He is going to give himself over to the Volturi by revealing himself to all the humans by stepping out into the sun because after Bella does one of her dumb reckless stunts Alice has a vision and believes her to be dead. Of course Bella arrives just on time to stop Edward from walking shirtless out into the sun. Edward is just so unappealing and I honestly don’t understand why Bella is so in love with him or why he is so in love with her. Guess it’s just another great mystery in the universe, like aliens, we’ll probably never know the answer. Time to talk about Jacob Black! He made an appearance in Twilight when he dropped off Bella’s big truck and at the beach trip where he hinted that the Cullens weren’t all what they seemed. Now Jacob is the start of a love triangle in this book. He fixes motorcycles and cars and such. He has long black hair and he’s of Native American decent- Quileutes. As the story goes on he starts to become cold toward Bella much to Bella’s dismay. One day Bella goes to the meadow that she and Edward spent so much time at and she runs into Laurent. He is then attacked by a bunch of big ass dogs. One of these dogs looks at Bella and she believes it to be Jake. She eventually learns that she is right and that he’s a werewolf. Werewolves are enemies of vampires and Jake hates them with a passion. Alice later comes back to Forks to deliver the news of Edwards impending suicide and there is an obvious dislike and disgust towards each other. Jake is nothing special. He reminds me of a male version of Bella. I only think that Meyer wanted to create some drama so she threw Jake in as a love interest. I think if you’re going to do a love triangle the characters should at least be interesting and well-thought-out.

Swoon Worthy Scale: Edward- 1 Jacob-1

The Villain- Laurent hunted down Bella for Victoria and was attacked a pack of werewolves. Victoria also poses to become a threatening force to the lovely *gag* couple, but the real villains are the Volturi. The Volturi are the rulers of vampiredom and apparently they want the Cullens dead. I think. You know I’m really not all that sure what the point of the Volturi is and why they are such a threat to Edward and Bella. Honestly I feel like the Volturi should care less about these dumb specimens, but apparently they want blood spilled. They all have special powers which Bella is immune to. They aren’t really as threatening as I think Meyer hoped they would be.


Villain Scale: 3

Alice is the most prominent of the Cullens in this book. At the end of the book she claims to have had a vision of Bella becoming a vampire she tells the Volturi so they won’t kill her since she knows of their existence. The Cullens think it’s a great idea and Edward still refuses Bella. Jacob also threatens the pact they’ve made in honor of each other’s territories. Honestly that was pretty much all of the characters in this book. Mike went on a date with Bella and Jacob though, which was just awkward and stupid.

Character Scale: 2

New Moon is one of the most hated books I’ve ever read. Even my mom who is still a fan of the books hates New Moon. Let’s face it, New Moon is the book that shouldn’t have been written and was just a waste of space. I recommend just skipping this one completely. At least skip pretty much the first half of the book because it’s just so boring.


Cover Thoughts: I love the flower. It’s beautiful or maybe it’s a feather. I don’t know, but it’s pretty and I think it’s the only good thing about this book.



    

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

First in the Twilight series

2 stars

Twilight… what to say about it that you haven’t heard a thousand times before; well I know you’ve heard the general summary before, probably more than once, but I’m going to give it to you again. Twilight follows Isabella “Bella” Swan, a teenage girl, who moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father. Forks is a dreary little town with a small population and is constantly experiencing rain and other crappy kinds of weather. Bella meets Edward Cullen, who turns out to be a vampire. Bella knows she should stay away, but she just can’t resist him. That’s this story in a nutshell. I could go on, but let’s leave some for the review. There will be spoilers, but I don’t see how you can spoil something that’s been made into a movie, talked about constantly, and I’m pretty sure most people reading this review have read Twilight.

The main female character is Bella. Bella is known as the most hated Mary Sue protagonist in YA fiction. I totally agree with this. Bella is klutzy and thinks of herself as ugly, but everyone just lurves her. She is completely stupid and I’m surprised she has any brain cells. She is saved by Edward from a car that’s about to run over her. More thoughts on that in Edward’s section. If I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a guy from my school standing in my room I would scream, run the hell away, and call the cops.



Bella lacks this knowledge of the fact Edward could’ve been a serial killer there to slice her open for his own amusement. Her choice to go meet James at the ballet studio (How Bella was able to even dance when she is little is beyond me and plus she couldn’t even dance at prom granted she did have a cast, but she’s klutzy she would’ve done a chaine off the stage. Chaine’s are turns by the way) was a stupid, typical heroine move. Why couldn’t she have done something admirable like I don’t know sneak people into the studio? She got lucky when the Cullens were able to find her. She then tells Edward at prom that she wants to be a vampire and her dream man says no. If I remember correctly he laughed or smiled at her when she said that. My brain is fuzzy. Time to look this up. So he didn’t laugh at her. I think I just hoped he had to look like a jerk, but Bella proved her idiocy. She thought Edward was actually going to bite her under a gazebo… at prom! PROM! In front of a bunch of people. My question to you Bella is: Do you really think Edward would’ve turned you in front of a bunch of high school kids, that also happen to be your fellow classmates? They have a secret to protect you shouldn’t be so eager to have your life taken.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2

The main male character in Twilight is Edward. Edward Cullen is not a sexy vampire. He’s not attractive and I personally think he’s unstable. Edward acts repulsed by Bella the minute she takes a seat next to him in Biology because they are now officially Biology partners. *rolls eyes and shakes fist in air for giving us one of the most overused clichés in YA paranormal* He listens in on people’s thoughts for crying out loud. I personally don’t want a vampire… at least one like Edward reading my thoughts and knowing my secrets. Of course the only person whose thoughts he can’t hear are Bella’s. For this he thinks Bella is special and intriguing. He goes from hating her guts and looking repulsed, to wanting to scare by revealing he’s a vampire, and then wanting to be with her forever after only a couple of conversations. The whole save Bella from getting hit by a car was a contradiction to Edward’s feelings from the beginning. He acted all repulsed by her and then jumps in front of a car and stops a guy from running Bella’s dumb self over. I’m pretty sure he wanted her to go away and yet he jumps in front of cars saving her life. He also likes to stand in Bella’s room and watch her sleep. This is disturbing and Bella’s reaction to that was unsettling even for me in the fifth grade. Edward is a contradiction to his feelings for most of the novel and I wasn’t even reading from his POV and I knew he was contradicting himself.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 1.5

The Villain- James, Laurent, and Victoria are the villains. James is a tracker and when he meets the Cullens while they are playing a game of vampire baseball and he picks up Bella’s scent realizing she’s a human. When the Cullens refuse to let him have her she becomes a target. Laurent is a friend (if consider crazy vampires able to have friends) of James and he takes part in hunting with them. Victoria is James mate and by the end she poses to be a threat to the Cullens. To be honest these villains aren’t all that bad, but they are more intimidating then terrifying. I’ve come across some pretty brutal vampires and James seems like a newbie compared to them.


Villain Scale: 7

The Cullens are a huge clan of vampires in Forks. They are a family, but not by blood. Carlisle is the head of the Cullens and a doctor and Esme is his mate and seen as the mother of the Cullens. Emmet is one of the “brothers” and is known as a skilled hunter and Rosalie is his mate. Rosalie is considered somewhat of a bully to Bella since she shows a dislike and distrusts her from the start. There’s also Alice and Jasper another pair of mates, but they play an important role. Alice is able to see the future and she quickly befriends Bella. Jasper is able to sense and manipulate emotions, which can come in handy. Alice is my favorite of the Cullens in this novel.

Character Scale: 5

The mythology of vampires is somewhat laughable. We learn that the Cullens are considered vegan vampires. These are vampires that only drink from animals instead of humans. They also sparkle in sunlight.

Attractive isn't it?
Bella claims that Edward looks like a thousand sparkling diamonds on his skin or some cheesy line resembling that. They are also able to breathe underwater from long periods of time and don’t ever sleep. They can see their selves in mirrors and have shadows. They aren’t harmed by garlic or holy items or even wooden stakes, which makes no sense because a wooden stake would kill a human and I think it should be able to kill these vampires too.

 

They are obviously good lucking, but I don’t consider Edward to be all that great looking but more of somewhat attractive. Their eyes change colors according to bloodlust. They have keen sense of smell, great hearing, agile bodies which make from fast running, and well most normal vampire stuff. They have to be dismembered and then burned immediately after dismemberment. I don’t get the point of vampire baseball and it doesn’t seem like it’s all that different from regular baseball. Aside from their supernatural abilities it’s a pretty unremarkable game.


I used to love Twilight, I did, and for that it will always have a special place in my heart. Is it an amazing series? No, but it did help introduce me to the world of YA. For that I thank Twilight, but I no longer have a deep appreciation for the characters in thinking they are amazing and well written. I’ve learned that sometimes the books you love the most as a child can become books you wouldn’t like as you grow older, but I will always love Twilight. I think it’s one of the best written book of the series and I definitely want kids and other teens to read someday because it may not be amazing, but it deserves credit for being entertaining. I’m re-reviewing all of the Twilight books because Breaking Dawn Part 2 came out in theatres, but I read these books when I was in the fifth grade and I read this right before the movie came out. I remember making my mom run all over town with me in a hunt to find this book. I don’t regret it.

Cover Thoughts: I actually like the apple cover, but it’s not the cover I had when I bought the book. I have the one with Bella and Edward on the front. I like the apple a little bit more, but I do actually like the cover I have, which is surprising.
 




 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. Smith

The Awakening and The Struggle (The Vampire Diaries, #1-2)

The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. Smith

First and second in The Vampire Diaries series

5 stars

This is a combined book of the first two books in The Vampire Diaries series. These books follow Elena, a girl who has everything her heart could desire, but is also feeling empty. Elena meets Stefan after her best friend, Bonnie, predicts that she will meet a guy who was once seen as tall. Stefan is mysterious and Elena can’t resist him. She then meets Damon, Stefan’s brother, the sexy and more dangerous of the brothers. He is determined to get revenge against Stefan and Elena is his prize. I don’t care what anyone says. You can say these books are terribly written, that they are cliché, that they suck, but to me they were the start to my YA love. This is another series that if I wouldn’t have discovered I probably wouldn’t have been able to say I loved these books before they were a TV show. A TV show which I have never seemed to be able to get into because they are so different from the books. I love these books and I still remember reading them so long ago when I was in the fifth grade. I literally remember sitting down early in the morning on my couch before school and diving into this wonderful. I remember being sucked in immediately and my love for the Salvatore brothers started.


The main female character is Elena. I loved Elena in this book. She was relatable for me at the time of my fifth grade experiences and to me that’s all that matters. I probably wouldn’t like her as much if I reread the book, but I do love Elena even though she made very stupid decisions and had me through hissy fits at her stupidity.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8.5

The main male characters are the Salvatore brother, Stefan and Damon.

 
Those boys are just... yummy! I love looking at those boys. In my opinion, the TV show finally got something about a character spot on and they succeeded with these boys in bringing them to life. Let’s start with the main love interest Stefan. Stefan was the brother I had been routing for early on the books. I thought he was sweet, caring, smart, compassionate, and strong. I thought he was a package deal of greatness. Of course, my opinions have changed and I find myself routing for Damon. Speaking of Damon, Damon is your typical YA bad boy, but I always seem to have a soft spot for him. He is a tough looking guy with a big heart and he does care you just have to know where to look.

Swoon Worthy Scale: Stefan: 8.5 Damon: 8

These ratings are only for this book and not for future books.

The Villain- Since there are two books the villains obviously change somewhat, but stay the same in a sense.


Villain Scale: 7

Elena’s friends are Bonnie, who is a feisty red headed witch and loyal friend, Meredith, who is of Latina decent and also another close friend of Elena, and Matt, Elena’s ex-boyfriend and close friend of the group. Caroline was once a good friend of the girls and Matt, but they grew apart and she has a hatred for Elena and wants to bring her down. These characters have a special place in my heart even though I may not always like them I care for them.


Character Scale: 8

If you haven’t realized it yet but these books did have a big impact on my love for reading and I’ll always recommend these books to anyone and everyone looking for a good vampire series. People have said that Smith is a Meyer copycat, but actually Meyer is the copycat since these books came out in the ‘90s. I love Smith’s writing, world, characters, and books. I definitely recommend giving this series a shot if you haven’t already.

Cover Thoughts: I love the cover. Call me cheesy, but I love it and I prefer it to all the other covers they’ve given these two books.




Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson

Vampire Crush

Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson

4 stars

Sophie McGee’s life is pretty normal. There aren’t super hot guys checking her out when she walks by, her routine is normal, and aside from investigating for the high school paper and hoping to snag the editor and chief spot, she’s a normal high school girl. There weren’t any vampires luring in her hallways. Then a bunch of kids that looks and sounds like they’ve stopped out of a Dracula movie come to school. She’s assigned the task of getting to know four of them while competing for the editor and chief spot. She wasn’t expecting James Hallowell to come back to town or the fact that he turns out to be a vampire! I know, I know. You’ve heard this summary before it’s nothing new and probably not entertaining. Five dollars says you think this book is another Twilight-wannabe. You’re wrong this book is not Twilight at all. I was wrong to and I was glad to be proven wrong. The characters are what really made this book different from most YA paranormal books.


The main female character is Sophie. Sophie is witty and sarcastic. Her attitude is hilarious and I found myself smiling or stifling giggles while reading with other kids looking at me like I was weird. She was probably the reason I enjoyed this book so much. I loved how she wasn’t afraid to be different or fight for what she wanted.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 9

The main male character is James. James is not heartthrob worthy, but I still liked his character. I found it refreshing how Sophie reacted to him and thought it was funny. He’s not the most appealing male I’ve come across in YA, but he’s not the worst. It’s a plus that he doesn’t sparkle.


Edward just wasn't able to handle James or Sophie's awesomeness in this book.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 7.5

The Villain- Vlad was a pretty good villain, but nothing all that shocking. All though the twist was interesting he wasn’t a very scary villain.

Villain Scale: 7

Violet was my favorite of the foreign vampires. She brought life to the story and it was nice having someone other than Sophie able to make me laugh. The other vampires were interesting, but I didn’t really feel their presence and they were sometimes easily forgotten.

Character Scale: 8

I think it’s awesome that this book openly mocks Twilight and other vampire books while the book is a vampire book. That’s ballsy. In honor, of the mocking of vampires. Here's some funny stuff to stay true to Sophie. 



Just one more.
 
 Robinson needs to write another book because I’m sure her next book will be just as good. I definitely recommend this book if you’re look for an entertaining and funny read.

Cover Thoughts: I like the cover. It’s what had caught my attention and made me want to read this book. In my opinion it’s a good cover because at least it caught my attention.





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecies and Predictions edited by Carrie Ryan

Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction

Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction edited by Carrie Ryan

4.5 stars

Foretold is an anthology featuring a lot of the hottest names in YA fiction, which means my standards were pretty high for this. They were already high since I knew that Richlle Mead’s story was in here and that set a rather high bar. After seeing Laini Taylor’s name the bar rose higher. I wasn’t disappointed, but some of these stories didn’t live up to what I thought they would. Here’s a breakdown of each story.


Gentlemen Send Phantoms by Laini Taylor
5 stars
I’m a fan of Taylor after reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone so of course my expectations for this story were high. She didn’t disappoint. Catherine “Pippin” is the center of the story. St. Faith’s Day is the day when all the girls bake a cake they set out for their phantom husband. Pippin has her sights set on one special boy, Matty, but so do all of the other girls in the village. Pippin reminded me of Karou with her dreams of flight. It brought back memories and has me excited to read Days of Blood and Starlight. Taylor can even make a short story mesmerizing.


Burned Bright by Diana Peterfreund
4 stars
Bright is the daughter of a leader of an occult. She is waiting, along with all the other members of the occult, for Judgment. Bright and Sam must figure out what to do when this judgment doesn’t come. I’m on the fence about this one. I enjoyed it, but it made absolutely no sense to me. The ending was interesting though, but crazy. I don’t expect anything less from someone who’s been brought up in an occult. I’m interested in Peterfreund’s other works, but I never seem to get around to reading them.


The Angriest Man by Lisa McMann
4 stars
David should’ve died when he was born, but he was stung by a bee. The bee carried the hate from the angriest man to ever exist and David lives with this burning hatred. I actually liked this. It was kind of boring at times, but held my attention. The ending on the other hand isn’t how I would’ve ended, but I could see why McMann did. McMann’s writing style is still very similar to Wake and reminded me I need to finish the series.



Out of the Blue by Meg Cabot
5 stars
K.C. and Kyle are twins. One night on their sixth birthday they slept outside in a tent. A man came inside a big ship placing objects in each of the twins claiming his world needed their help. Ten years later, KC is an outcast and decides to reveal her secret on her a blog, which no one reads except her best friend. It gets out and KC, Kyle, and their friends find themselves being interviewed by special agents. I loved this one. I’ve never read anything by Cabot, which I’m sad to admit, but this was totally awesome. I loved the concept and the style it was written in reminded me of a King novel for some reason. ALIENS! Not the attractive friendly ones either. These are more reminiscent of Signs.


One True Love by Malinda Lo
3 stars
Princess Essylt’s father kept her locked away because of a prophecy about her destroying him when she met her true love. He didn’t think about her true love being a woman. Sadiya, who also happens to be the King’s next bride. I’m not a big fantasy reader and the way this was written reminded me why I never could finish fantasy books as a kid. There were too many different places being introduced and I just wasn’t all that interested. Fantasy isn’t my genre and it takes a lot for me to read one much less love it.


This is a Mortal Wound by Michael Grant
4.5 stars
Tomaso lives 2019 and the Internet has become the new way to learn. Teachers aren’t used and neither are books. When his old teacher, Ms. Gill, kidnaps him and forces him to learn from books again. Tomaso has to fight his life because of his hatred for textbooks and their lack of knowledge. I liked this one a lot. Interesting concept with great writing; it wasn’t a completely sold short story but I still enjoyed it.


Misery by Heather Brewer
5 stars
Alek and his best friend Sara live in Misery. Every year on a special day you receive a gift from the town, but no one knows where the gift comes from. When he goes to Jordyn, the town psychic, to find out his gift he is told it is nothing. I loved this. It was brilliant. The writing fit the story with a somber tone. I loved how the town had no color and pretty much lived inside of the people of Misery. The ending, it was perfect and made me think for quite some time.


The Mind is a Powerful Thing by Matt de la Pena
4.5 stars
Joanna celebrates her sixteenth birthday, but not even a great night can get the feeling of dread out of her. When she gets a fortune cookie that reminds of a horrific day she becomes paranoid and the night ends with sadness. This is a perfect example of thinking about something too much will bring it upon you. I loved it. The characters were interesting and my heart swelled for Ronny at the end.


The Chosen One by Saundra Mitchell
4 stars
Corvina isn’t as special as her sister the future queen of Vernal. Not since the accident leaving her scarred and burned. When her sister, Lucia, becomes ill before she is to host the Betrothal Quest Corniva sets out to find a cure for her. She meets Valerian who helps her find herself and the cure along the way. Like I said before I’m not a fan of fantasy, but the writing didn’t feel like a fantasy. I did still get confused though and had to reread parts several times. I enjoyed the story and quest since it seemed to flow into the story easier than the quest in One True Love did.


Improbable Futures by Kami Garcia
5 stars
Once a conry always a conry. This is Ilana’s life and the carnival is all she’s ever known, except for being in kindergarten for a month. Ilana’s job is to be a fortune teller like her mother. Ilana doesn’t give happy fortunes like her mother and knows it’s all a scam just like everything else in the carnival. She wasn’t expecting her predictions to come true. I surprisingly enjoyed Garcia’s tale which I wasn’t expecting since I've heard some iffy things about her writing along side Stohl and that's made me iffy to pick up their works.
Death for the Deathless by Margaret Stohl
3.5 stars
Adrienne and Luc are the prophet and the bringer of prophecies for the Immortals. When a final prophecy tales of not even Immortals surviving the End all hell breaks loose and the prophecy isn’t all what it seemed. This had so much promise, but I think Stohl failed to live up to this promise. I hate saying this but I think Stohl's writing is the reason I didn't enjoy this. I hate saying that but it’s true. She has great ideas and concepts, but her writing is so hard for me to get through. I still have hopes that she’ll blow me away one day and prove me wrong.


Fate by Simone Elkeles
4.5 stars
Carson moves into a RV park where he meets Willow. Willow’s optimistic views just might be the thing he needs. I thought this was adorable and so cute. The last line made me giggle like a little kid. I love Elkeles work, but I feel like she ended it too soon.

The Killing Garden by Carrie Ryan
5 stars
Tanci is the first girl to be born in a long line of males. Her father is the Gardener, which is a prestigious title, and she wants to live up to his approval and trains herself to take his place. Once she accomplishes being the Gardner and is forced to race her best friend she starts to question what exactly people do to be sent to the garden by the Emperor. She meets Rete in one of quests to find out the answer. Knowing that she’ll one day have to kill him in the Garden, but she can’t help but feel for him. I love Ryan’s work. She’s a great writer and this is such an interesting idea. I haven’t read anything like this and was sucked in. I want Tanci to find happiness wherever it may take her.


Homecoming by Richelle Mead
5 stars

 
 
 

Rose and Dimitri go to Russia!

I loved it and it was so nice to read about Rose and Dimitri again. I hope they get married and I want a short story or a book about it. Mead doesn’t fail to make me smile with the VA characters.


Overall it was a really good anthology and I recommend giving it a shot. Not just for Dimitri and Rose, but because they have some pretty awesome short stories in here and they deserve love too.

Cover Thoughts: I don’t like the cover. The coloring, girl on it, and rain just don’t fit. I feel like there are thousands of other ways to show a prophecy that could’ve been done and this was just a cheap shot try.
  










Friday, November 9, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

First in The Hunger Games trilogy

4.5 stars

The world is no longer as it is today. The Capitol owns and controls everything. Every year the Capitol selects one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts to compete in a brutal game called the Hunger Games. In the Hunger Games, the contestants are put in brutal and intense situations where they each fight for their life and only one person wins… and comes out alive. Katniss Everdeen is a hunter who lives in District 12. She provides food for her family by catching wild game and illegal trading. When Katniss’s sister, 12-year-old sister Primrose, is chosen to participate in the Games. She does the only thing she can to do to protect her family and offers herself as tribute in her sister’s place. She finds herself fighting alongside Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, in a world that could destroy them. I was, I guess you could say a late bloomer when it came to finally getting my hands on The Hunger Games. Everyone had seemed to have read The Hunger Games at my school and I had already owned the box set, which I was greatly gifted with by my aunt for Christmas. I finally decided to pick it up two days before the movie’s release date. I now own the movie, but haven’t had the time to watch it since it’s only been in my possession for about a week. I do plan on watching the movie though, hopefully this weekend or month… sometime in the near future. This book was a last minute read and probably not a good idea since my mom wouldn’t take me to the movie (but I will be prepared for Warm Bodies and Beautiful, which I will read). The beginning was very slow. Let’s face it the Capitol was boring, but the descriptions were beautiful and brilliant. The descriptions being a plus for this book. I was expecting to either hate or love this book. I honestly wasn’t sure because it sounded appealing and interesting, but great ideas can be slaughtered with bad writing. This book and the concept for it weren’t slaughtered. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Let’s talk about the characters.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

First in The Hunger Games trilogy

4.5 stars

The world is no longer as it is today. The Capitol owns and controls everything. Every year the Capitol selects one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts to compete in a brutal game called the Hunger Games. In the Hunger Games, the contestants are put in brutal and intense situations where they each fight for their life and only one person wins… and comes out alive. Katniss Everdeen is a hunter who lives in District 12. She provides food for her family by catching wild game and illegal trading. When Katniss’s sister, 12-year-old sister Primrose, is chosen to participate in the Games. She does the only thing she can to do to protect her family and offers herself as tribute in her sister’s place. She finds herself fighting alongside Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, in a world that could destroy them. I was, I guess you could say a late bloomer when it came to finally getting my hands on The Hunger Games. Everyone had seemed to have read The Hunger Games at my school and I had already owned the box set, which I was greatly gifted with by my aunt for Christmas. I finally decided to pick it up two days before the movie’s release date. I now own the movie, but haven’t had the time to watch it since it’s only been in my possession for about a week. I do plan on watching the movie though, hopefully this weekend or month… sometime in the near future. This book was a last minute read and probably not a good idea since my mom wouldn’t take me to the movie (but I will be prepared for Warm Bodies and Beautiful, which I will read). The beginning was very slow. Let’s face it the Capitol was boring, but the descriptions were beautiful and brilliant. The descriptions being a plus for this book. I was expecting to either hate or love this book. I honestly wasn’t sure because it sounded appealing and interesting, but great ideas can be slaughtered with bad writing. This book and the concept for it weren’t slaughtered. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Let’s talk about the characters.


The main female character is Katniss Everdeen. Everyone with cable or access to the Internet knows who Katniss is because well she her face was plastered about months before the movie’s release date.
Katniss is a strong, well-rounded character. She’s a fighter and a survivor. The girls of Destiny’s Child would be proud.
I really do commend her strengths though. She could be considered a role model if you were looking for one in YA fiction. Did she make the best choice at the end of this book? No, but I can understand where she’s coming from and her confusion is understandable. Katniss is strong, but also caring. She does care about people even if at times in the Games it didn’t seem like it.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 10

The main male character is Peeta. I like Peeta a lot. He’s the nice guy, but he can hold his own in a battle. Am I Team Peeta or Team Gale? I’m undecided because I like them both so far even though Gale has only mentioned in memories. Peeta is a lot like Katniss in some ways. They share traits that aren’t always distinguishable, but it’s little things. Honestly, I can't decide how much I like him since I feel like I didn't really get to know him.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 8

The Villain- I think it’s the Capitol and the people in it. I’m not really going to into the politics of Panem. I’ll just wait until I read Catching Fire (which will be before the movie’s release date). The politics and politicians are sick though. A game used for punishment against the Districts with kids killing each other. It’s unsettling and scary, but mostly disturbing.


Villain Scale: 9

Gale, of course, who is a very big part of Katniss’s thoughts and a motivator for survival. Primrose, Katniss’s little sister, who Katniss sacrifices herself for. The contenders in the Game; my favorite was Rue.

Character Scale: 8.5

I will watch the movie. This is a way for me to finally do it and stop putting it off with my laziness. I enjoyed The Hunger Games and the sick games that were cleverly played with each other. I look forward to Catching Fire and seeing more games played, even though I’m sure it’s not another Hunger Games because that would contradict the Hunger Games. This is a dystopian book that I did enjoy and they seem to either be make, break, or meh for me. The Hunger Games will definitely stay with me so if you couldn't tell I enjoyed it... immensely.


Cover Thoughts: I honestly have no feelings towards the cover other than the fact that I want a Mockingjay pin. Other than that it’s bland and fits the story. It’s pretty meh of a cover for me.





Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

Hey, you guys! I feel so guilty! I haven't been on here in forever. It's been at least a week in a half and that's a week too long. I finished a book today, so here's the review for that and I'll post a note at the end to talk about why I've been so busy!

Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #1)

Mark of the Demon by Diana Rowland

First in the Kara Gillian series

4 stars

Kara Gillian is a Beaulac, Louisiana detective who’s finally got the promotion she’s been waiting for. Kara can do things that most detectives or people can. She can summon demons which could prove to be helpful in her first murder case. When she accidently summons the Demonic Lord Rhyzkahl she doesn’t know why he let her live. But everything seems to be tied to the Symbol Man who Kara only has a short time to catch and bodies are piling up left and right. What’s a summoner to do but that her demonic lore knowledge pays off in the long run? I had been expecting to be blown away by Mark of the Demon, but sadly I wasn’t. After reading My Life as a White Trash Zombie and thinking it was pure comedic fun with gore thrown in, I was hoping for some laughs and demons. This book is not laughs… at all. It’s actually pretty sick and twisted how most of these murders were described and I felt queasy a time or two. I have to give Rowland props for not holding back when it came to gruesome though.


The main female character is Kara. I liked Kara, but I didn’t connect with her like I had with Angel from White Trash Zombie. Kara’s had it rough, but at the same time. I sympathized for her but I didn’t really feel much else. Kara has good qualities though. She’s strong, persistent, smart, knows her away around, but she’s also very closed off from people and she’s lonely. Really lonely. I feel like this character trait was contradicted though. She was lonely, closed off from most people, but had no problem interacting with people and getting them to talk. I feel like it shouldn't have been that easy for her. Maybe I'm just over thinking it. I like Kara, but at times I was hoping for something more interesting to pop up in her mind or around her.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8

The main male characters are Rhyzkahl and Ryan. I liked Rhyzkahl. For a demonic lord he’s pretty interesting, but I don’t want to ever run into him. I do want to see where Kara and Rhyzkahl’s relationship ends up going. Ryan is full of secrets and I just want to know what he is. I think he’s a good friend to Kara. Will they turn into something more? Probably and I’m OK with that just as long as it doesn’t ruin their budding friendship.


Swoon Worthy Scale: Rhyzkahl: 8.5 Ryan: 8

The Villain- That was such a wild ride! I’ve never been so excited when reading a murder mystery. This was definitely the best aspect of the novel and it aside from Rhyzkahl it kept me wanting more. This is the way mysteries should be handled. That was sick, twisted and overall epic! I wonder what the next villain will be like.

Villain Scale: 10

A lot of these characters had potential to be developed, but they weren’t fully developed. Aunt Tessa could’ve been more present when she was there. I felt at times she wasn’t showing the personality Rowland described her of having. The cops could’ve gotten more fleshed out as well; along with Doc and the other coroners. Hopefully that’ll happen in the upcoming books.


Character Scale: 8

Overall this book was pretty good, but could’ve been better. I found myself losing interest at times and that made me lose interest for a while. Hopefully the next books will prove that this is a great series.


Cover Thoughts: I like the cover, but at the same time I think it’s nothing special. I do like the arcane symbols though and think they fit perfectly.



Last week was the last week of Marching Season, which meant Showcase was coming. Showcase is the last and final competition of the marching band season and it was hectic. I had practice every day and no time to read. It was worth it though since Guard did really good! Yay! I promise to be here on a little bit more frequently. Winterguard here I come!