Tuesday, 25 December 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Merry Christmas to everyone!

And if you don't celebrate Christmas, then Happy Holidays to you.

Friday, 21 December 2012

[RANT] There's a Movie??

So I've recently learned that there's a movie for the book Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. WHAT??? I personally wasn't a big fan of the series so I'm surprised that it's a movie. What I'm more surprised about is that some of my favourite actors/actresses are starring in it.

Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rosum are both in this movie and I absolutely love them. I know Jeremy Irons from the Borgia Series and Emmy Rosum from the Phantom of the Opera. In my opinion, they are amazing actors/actresses and I can't believe they're in this movie. I'm probably going to watch this just because of them.

Some more comments on the movie, the girl they casted for Lena is pretty spot on but the boy they casted for Ethan...no. It's just not the right boy-completely different from what I imagined he would be.

Here's the trailer, let me know what you think about this recent enlightenment.

Enjoy.

For my review on Beautiful Darkness, the second book in the series, click here.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

[REVIEW] Crimson Crown by Cinda Williams Chima

Published: October 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Age: Young Adult
Series: Seven Realms #4 [end]
The Crimson Crown summary on Goodreads
The crimson crown is the final book in the seven realms series.  Needless to say, Chima concludes her series marvelously.  She fills in any loose ends and makes sure the readers have a clear understanding of what has happened in the past and present.

Throughout the book, Han Allister flirts with danger (and Raisa but what else is new!) and really starts to develop into that king-like figure. Of course as I said before, Han and Raisa are meant to be together. This series has a way of repeating history, in a predictable manner may I add and usually I hate predictable books but in this case I wanted to keep reading to see if what I predicted was
coming true. If it really was going to be history repeating itself (only this time it's happy endings).


It's interesting that of all the wonderful parts of this series that comprise it, I was most excited and interested in all the betrayals and lies.  I mean the whole premise of the legend is built on a huge lie! So yes, I guess lies and betrayals are quite important in this book and series overall. I was completely surprised at the harshness of the Clan people at the end of the book. I won't spoil anything but basically when I first started reading the Seven Realms series, I was very for the Clans and their philosophy but as Raisa took the throne (in the previous book I believe), I started to stop caring the Clans and focus more on those associated with the Grey Wolfe Throne and the upper class. Maybe it's that reason that I find the sudden change in the Clans to be so shocking. The end of the series was also a surprise. I didn't see it coming and it definitely explained other parts that were happening in the book.

What was a bit lacking for me though was that there were quite a few side journeys that didn't prove to be of any significance to the story at all.    Out of all four books, this one seemed the most disjointed in its story line, journeys and side plots.I applaud the author in filling in any loose ends but there are just so many new ideas, adventures and plots that are introduced in this book that I find it very disconnected overall.  As if there were two stories running parallel: Han's adventure and Raisa's struggles back at the castle and then they somehow connect at the end. Can't say that it was bad just felt like I was reading two different stories that ended up joining together in the end.

Some characters that I feel completely stole the limelight in this story are:
  • Dancer. WHERE DID HE COME FROM??? I mean he's always been a major side character in this story but seriously, when has he been of major importance to the plot? Not really. In the final novel though, whoa. Dancer should have a book all to his own. Firstly, he somehow becomes integral to the whole wizard conflict and than bam, just when I thought it was back to Han and Raisa, no, it's Dancer again and his special powers that happened to appear in the most opportune moments. Hmm, seems suspicious to me.  I mean he was the quite, soft spoken character in this book who supported Han from the side. I'm still trying to digest the fact that without him, the story probably wouldn't have had a happy ending. That's how important his part was.
  • Crow. This wasn't as big of a surprise as Dancer, probably because I really liked Crow and he had a pretty integral part in the third book, but Crow too was a major part of this novel. There are a lot of events that couldn't have happened without him and honestly I'm just glad he had a bigger part that not only showed his normal Crow self but also his caring side.
  • Micah. Micah was also central to this story. I mean he was central to this entire series in general but he really took control in this book, becoming more than a puppet for his family.
The Seven Realms series is truly a masterpiece. It's been a long time since I've read the final book in the series and quite enjoyed it. I missed that feeling.  Knowing Cinda Wlliams Chima, I'll probably be reading another amazing fantasy series from her soon.

If you haven't checked it out, read the Demon King, the first in the Seven Realms series. [review here] This is definitely a series that you don't want to be missing out in.

BUY


Friday, 7 December 2012

[RANT] There's ANOTHER one????

Today I was surfing the web and looking at books online when I came upon this shocking coming soon release.  It was Thirst Vol 5 by Christopher Pike, My intial response was to scream in frustration and think "There's ANOTHER one?" Yeah, I guess so.  So apparently when I thought it ended 2 books ago it didn't and I reluctantly read the fourth novel thinking that was it, no more. Well now the fifth novel seems to be the finale.  How much is enough. I don't know but oh well. I'll read it and let you know what I think. The scheduled release date is March 5, 2013.

Thirst No. 5 The Sacred Veil by Christopher Pike

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

[NEW RELEASES] November 20, 2012

Well this is silly but I just realized that there is currently no book that I'm interested in until January 2013.  Which means this segment won't start up (fully) until next year! Sorry about that. If I do stumble upon a new book release that I'm excited about, I'll definitely post it.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

[RANT] Sorry! (Again), New Post series, and Blog Renovating

I just realized that I haven't done a blog post in over a month! I whole heartedly blame university for that. Anyway, I wanted to apologize (again) and say that winter break is starting soon so expect a slew of book reviews for then.  How's that for getting into the holiday spirit?

Another note, I've decided to start a new posting series on my blog. It'll be about new releases that I'm personally excited for.  Book releases are typically on Tuesday so I'll be posting every week on Tuesday on what books are releasing that week that I'm interested in reading. Until I come up with a better name, it's just going to be called [new releases].

Lastly, I feel that its time for a blog renovation.  I just thought I would give a heads up.  Expect something new soon!

Friday, 5 October 2012

[RANT] Crossfire #2 - Sylvia Day

As you know (or didn't know), Reflected in you, the second book in the crossfire series just realeased this week.  Obviously I finished it a couple of days after I got a opy and I can say it is absolutely amazing.

Anyway, I was surfing through youtube when I came upon this music video.  Reminds me of the relationship between Gideon and Eva
 
Remind Me feat. Carrie Underwood - Brad Paisley

Thursday, 4 October 2012

[HAUL] The Casual Vacancy and The Raven Boys

Recently I picked up a couple of new releases.
 
1. Of course, as a Harry Potter fan, I had to pick up j.K. Rowling's new book: The Casual Vacancy.  It's her first adult novel and it's with a different publisher - hopefully that will do her good.
If you can't tell the book is about politics...or something like that. Honestly I had no idea about the plot of this until I actually picked up the book so don't feel guilty. 

"When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults." (From Goodreads)


I have high hopes for this book (as I do with every book that's by an author that I like!)

2.  The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.  Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favourite authors ever since I read Shiver.  I was so excited to hear that she would be starting another series, after realizing that The Scorpio Races was not a series but rather a stand alone (clearly I was not pleased).
The cover is absolutely amazing, as are all of her books really.

"It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore." (From Goodreads)


I also have high hopes for this one.

I'll let you know what I think about these when I'm done!


Sunday, 23 September 2012

[REVIEW] Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers


Published: April 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart? (From Goodreads)


Well this was a pleasent read, although I must admit that halfway through the story it became rather annoying that Ismae and Duval weren't together already. THEY'RE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!!!

Anyway, the story itself is pleasent and different from my usual reads (ahem, dystopia lit).  Historical fiction for me can either be boring or interesting and this was definitely interesting.  The majority of the characters seem to have a connection to a royal family in England (or France) which was good. That`s the only historical part really in the story.  The rest are somewhat historical but could have taken place elsewhere.

The story was also well written.  LaFevers definitely knows how to keep her readers engaged and wanting to read more.  I was personally pleased when the females in this story were so powerful and LaFevers definitely makes this clear in her descriptions. The emotions are also conveyed well.  When Ismae sees Sybella at Brittany, I could feel the emotions between them.  Ismae is a very powerful character. I believe that many women at the time went through the same crisis that she did but the way she faced it is different from most.  Although perhaps not every girl during that time period had people watching over them it is still amazing how she overcomes it.  Ismae is a character who definitely takes the bad in life and makes it good, although her need for justice sometimes clouds her judgements, her journey for the truth and the morals of her cult (yes it is definitely a cult) is inspirational.

Duval for me was also a very well written character. You could tell instantly that he was devoted to his cause and that nothing could stop him.  His affections for Ismae (although it is blatently obvious that they were to be the main romance in this novel) weren`t as apparent but clearly there.  I did enjoy the awkward exchanges the two had while living at his house.  It was really weird knowing that Ismae was something like grim reaper and that she was living with someone who's so delegated to justice and morality (Duval).  Now that I think about it, they are both fighting for the same cause - their belief of justice. Maybe that's why they're attracted to each other because although they're opposities (opposities attract!)

I must say that the upcoming sequel does not follow the story of Isame and Duval but the story of Sybella.  That makes me angry and sad.  I think I came to love the realtionship between Duval and Ismae that I have to know what's going to happen to them (do I hear wedding bells in the future???)  I'll read the sequel because this was very good but I don't have high hopes for it. (Watch me be wrong.)
MEH (close to BUY)

Monday, 17 September 2012

[RANT] Sorry!!!!

So It's been more than a month since my last review...I'm sorry. Expect a new review soon since I've finished quite a few books since Wings of the Wicked.
 
Upcoming reviews:
And if I have finish this soon (which I predict since it's soo good so far): The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

 Have a nice week! And stay tuned for these upcoming reviews!!!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

[REVIEW] Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton

Published: January 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins/Katherine Teagen
Age Group:  Young Adult
Series: Angelfire #2
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay. (
From Goodreads)


Firstly, it's been awhile since I read the first book so I had to read over my previous review. Well sadly I was not as excited by this one as I was before. I blame the fact that it's the middle book. I always dislike the middle book.

In Wings of the Wicked, Ellie has to face her destiny and her complicated relationship with Will, no different from the first novel. The only difference is the gravity of the situation.  both issues are now huge and play a large part in this book. The first part of the story was more focused on Ellie's relationship.  Honestly it was like a typical teen romance novel. I find Ellie and Will's relationship to be that of a soap opera. There is so much drama and honestly, I hate Ellie. I just really don't like her character.  I mean Will is absolutely  amazing and all Ellie does is hurt him and push him away. Arrrgh, what a stupid girl. Clearly I was frustrated with the majority of this story.  As Ellie says "I don't deserve you" (page 329) Damn right! Ellie, you don't deserve Will. Okay, now that that's off my chest back to the story.

The second part of the story was good. I think the reason why I liked it was because it focused more on the fight as oppose to the drama.  The second part was more similar to the first book (that I quite liked) as oppose to the first part.

Also is it just me, but when I read this series and they mention reapers, I picture something like this:
If anyone's wondering, the picture is from the anime Bleach.

Another problem I found in this story is that Courtney Allison Moulton writing is very basic and it doesn't do much to get me hooked to the story line, characters and plot. In fact there are also very abrupt changes in emotion (sort of like mood swings!) that make it very hard to relate to the chracters situation and what they're feeling. For instance, Ellie may be mad for 4 pages and than all of a sudden, she's happy! Yay...except I had no idea how it happened...

There's also a very obvious plot line.  And the amount of time passed doesn't really make sense either. It's sort of a very predictable, confusing story (for me at least.)

Lastly, there seems to always be a character that is used to explain what happens in the story. Caden was a messanger in this story. He appears out of nowhere, says or does something important and then leaves.  He's also suppose to be the other person in Ellie's love traingle...but he does a pretty bad job at it.

It hurts me to say this but the ending was quite interesting. The cliffhanger was truly a cliffhanger and I felt really attached to it. Its quite sad that it took me that long to finally enjoy this book. 


I think it's fairly obvious that I wasn't pleased with this book.  Like I said before, I usually hate the middle book in a trilogy so here's hoping the last one will be better!

MEH

Saturday, 23 June 2012

[REVIEW] The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Published: April 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Canada,
divison of Random House Canada
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Darkest Powers #5
Darkness Rising #3

Maya and her friends--all of whom have supernatural powers--have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness. (From  Goodreads)

It's come to my attention that perhaps the Darkness Rising trilogy and the one before it, the Darkest Powers trilogy, and the one after this is all one BIG conspiracy theory. Each book is similar and loosely connected to each other, which is similar to her adult urban fantasy series, the women of the otherworld, but I just feel that, being a reader who has ONLY read the Darkness Rising trilogy, I'm missing out on a lot of insider information that could help to explain some questions in this trilogy if I had read the trilogy before it.  Well, I'll be honest, I hate Kelley Armstrong's teen fiction. It's not that it's bad writing because Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite writers, just that I find this series, in comparison to her adult series, lacks the essence that made it so memorable for me.  It's understandable that in teen literature, the author needs to dull it down or add more teenage drama to it to appeal to the demographic and it might be because of these added elements and the elimination of more mature parts that I find her young adult series somewhat lacking. I love action, and the hot romantic scenes between Clay and Elena and that isn't present in these books.

The Calling was an inbetween novel (hence why it's book 2 of a trilogy) and in all inbetween novel fashion, this book only served to explain what is happening to set the story up for the climatic end in the third one. Well I think this one was done splendidly.  It really answered a lot of loose holes and shed some light on some characters.  It starts off right where the last one left off at and by the end of this novel you'll be quite surprised at some of the revelations that occur.  Actually revelations start in the first couple of chapters. 

I know Kelley Armstrong is an author who hates describing things and that's also evident in this novel.  She prefers quick action and there is that, in the brief page or two of action and than it's back to explaining. Kelley Armstrong also left the typical supernatural creatures, i.e. werewolves and vampires, and decided to explore more native legends and less known creatures which I think is very interesting and rarely done. Kudos Kelley Armstrong, Well done.

I think the star of this book was Sam. Well of course Maya is the main character so it's obvious that she would be one of the main focuses of the series but Sam was also very important in this book. I have a feeling that she was used as the person to bring information to them (which she did!) and; thus, had a larger role in this book. She also became more developed.  No longer was she just the girl that moved to town after everyone and the mayor's niece but now as the girl with an extinct supernatural legend inside of her and having come from a troubled past.  Some other characters are also devloped more, Corey, Nicole and Daniel. 

There really isn't much to say about this book. There usually isn't much to say when the majority of the book is information.  I can say thought that although the beginning of the book was action packed and very climactical, it took me awhile to get attached to this book.  I think when more was explained, I could actually start to understand what was happening and appreciate the story more.

I won't say don't read this because I know many people love her Darkest Powers trilogy just that I don't think this is her best writing.

MEH

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

[REVIEW] Eve by Anna Carey

Published: October 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Eve #1
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life. (
From Goodreads)


Confession Time.  I will admit that the only reason I borrowed this book was because of the cover and imagine my surprise when I read the inside blurb and it said "Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth's population, that world is a perilous place." Clearly this is a dystopic themed book and I was seriously considering putting it back on the shelf and walking away because at the time, I was seriously getting sick of dystopic young adult literature. After the not-as-exciting-as-I-hoped-book-Insurgent [review], I had decided that a break from dystopic literature was in need but nonetheless I still borrowed this book (mainly because of the beautiful cover!) and honestly, I'm glad I did.

Eve takes a new perspective of a dystopic world. Of course there are key elements, i.e. the world ending because of a catastrophe (plague) and the after plague world is attempting to build a corrupt utopia or a better society, and then  there are new parts that I found vey intersting. 

[SPOILER] First, orphans are being used as slaves. Girls for birthing and Boys for labourers.  [END SPOILER]

Perhaps this sort of stoy line has already been used for other books that I have yet to read but based on what I have read, this was very different.

The one thing that I absolutely loved about this book is that Eve instantly got me hooked, which isn't easy for a 300 page book.  After the first chapter I was instantly captivated and had to read more. 

What I noticed was that at the beginning of the story, it seemed that the book would follow the typical dystopic story line.  Escaping, joining rebels and then restoring the proper government. Half way through the story, it changed. I didn't realize it at first until I got to the end (kudos to Anna Carey's seemless transition!) but the story soon became a love story between Eve and Caleb with the whole government scheme as a sub plot. Odd but okay. Some other popular dystopic literature's have done that (e.g. Legend by Marie Lu and Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi) and it's fine. Just interesting how the plot is changing and advancing.

I never caught the foreshadows or predicted that something would happen while reading this, while I think is part of the reason why I was so captivated by it. Every climatic event and surprise was truly a surprise, which is hard to find in books sometimes.  Often events are forseeable and farily obvious but not for this one so yay to that!

Anna Carey is also really good at describing events and this dystopic world.  I could really picture the deslote world and what was happening.  I absolutely love it when I can immerse myself into a book and visualize what is happening. It makes reading all the more fun.
Now on to the negative parts:
  • Eve. I seem to be on a character hating basis because I really didn't like Eve sometimes. Some of her actions were plain stupid and after it caused an event I would look back and be like "Why did you do that? Couldn't you see that this would happen?" (Of course I shouldn't be the one to say that since I: didn't even realize what was going to happen) [SPOILER] For instance when she foolishly calls Caleb on the radio which causes the troops to find her, well that was plain foolish. I think one of the main reasons why that happened may have been because the author needed to a) eliminate a minor character and b) advance the plot, not from a possible happy ending but to the growing love story.  Anna Carey might have forced the plot on that part. [END SPOILER]
  • The blurb, I don't know why but it seems very inaccurate to what actually happened. The blurb states "Eve must choose between true love and her life." ... I never realized that there was a point where she had to make a decision...true that there were parts when she didn't want to leave Caleb but she did but that wasn't really a choice. More like a crying, begging girl saying good bye because she had to. The sequel's blurb (Once, releasing July 3!) ends with a line similar to this one.  I can't wait to see if it's actually true or not.
Overall this was a fairly lovely read. It's sort of like a combination of Shatter Me and Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari, both dystopic reads. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nice love story or different dystopic lit.

Also, I know I said the cover was amazing but the font is absolutely gorgous too.  Whoever designed this is brilliant and hopefully the covers will be as good in the sequels.

MEH

Monday, 18 June 2012

[REVIEW] Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Published: September 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Medusa Girls #1
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.(
From Goodreads)


This book is a story adapted off the whole Medusa story.  Clearly I read this book during my "mythology books faze" (hence, the mythology) and I must say that it was an interesting book.

First, when I saw that there would be more than one main narrator, I got nervous. I don't like more than two narrators just that I find more than two tends to ruin the book for me since I get so confused trying to keep track as to what happened but Tera Lynn Childs does an excellent job making all three of the sisters flow when they tell they're story.  She also does a really good job giving each of them a distinct personality that makes it harder to mix them up, making it easier for me to read it.  I was never lost during this book, or confused as to who was speaking - which is good, very good. I also really liked the varying personalities.  Sometimes it gets monotonous with one speaker, especially if they're very boring but all three of these main characters has a distinct manner and it's intersting to be reading one chapter with a concerned narrator to a chapter with a narrator who is a fashionista.  I enjoyed that imensely.
My one concern about this many narators is that each narrator has a different love interest, which may get confusing later on in the story.  Can't wait to see what will happen.

Second, the whole concept of this book is old but new - modernized I should say.  The whole monsters coming out of portals and only the chosen one can see who they are has been done over and over again. Take Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this is sort of like that so if you're a Buffy fan, definitely give this book a try.  Anyway, the one thing I found unique about this is the whole spin off the Gorgon sisters.  Perhaps I've just never read a story with it before but the way the myth was integrated into the story was amazing.  It really did sound normal, in the context of the story of course.

Lastly, I have to say that the cover was what first attracted me.  I'm a firm believer that if a cover sucks, you're not going to enjoy the story as much.  Seeing this cover, I had already a sense that I would like it and of course I did so bravo whoever designed the cover. You did an amazing job!

So if you're a fan of mythological inspired fiction (i.e. Everneath) and enjoy good old action than you'll definitely enjoy this book.

MEH

Sunday, 17 June 2012

[REVIEW] Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Published: August 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Bloodlines #1
When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood. (From Goodreads)

I've put off reading this book for a long time now. Not because the end of the Vampire Academy Series was horrible (cause it was, [review]) but because when I heard that the premise of the spin off series was that it would be following secondary characters, well I wasn't really interested. Frankly, I'm still not that interested...more than I was before though.

For readers who loved the Vampire Academy series, I will say that Richelle Mead's new series is different.  The writing is the same but the setting changes.  In Vamprie Academy, there is a lot of action and drama (mainly the love triangle and vampire politics), well in Bloodlines, the story has more of a mystery feeling mixed with teenage problems (school and social drama). There's a lot less action which was one of the main things I loved in the original series. Okay, now enough hating, I did like some parts of this book.

First, Sydney. She's a very interesting character. Well she had better be if she's expected to be the main character. I find a lot of similarities with her and Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy but Sydney has enough of a personality that I can read the story and still distinguish the two.

Second: I know I just ranted about the lack of action in Bloodlines but I must say, I do enjoy the school drama that is in this book. I was missing some good old teenage angst with all the books I've been reading so that was a good different.

Okay, now back to some more dislikes.
Adrian. Before you kill me let me explain. Adrian Ivashkov is sort of a scene stealer charactet in the original series. And I must admit that I did like him but purpose was just to be that third part of the love triangle between Rose, Dimitri and him. Honestly, I find that Richelle Mead only put him in this series because there were so many heartbroken female readers that DEMANDED he get justice for his sadness in the previous books. That's probably the only reason why he's in this book. Because there's a fan base behind him and people want to read more about him. What do I have to say about this? Meh. I don't really care, just that I've noticed that it seemed slightly forced with Adrian in the story.  It did get better later on but at the beginning, I kept reading thinking "Why is Adrian here?"

Also it seems evident that there's going to be some romantic relationship between Adrian and Sydney...I DON'T LIKE THAT. I don't know why...it just bothers me.  Maybe I'm too much of a Vampire Academy lover that I can't picture Adrian without Rose (or in this case with anyone else.)

Lastly, Richelle Mead has a way of bringing in characters from her first book to entice readers a little bit. Some of them work, others not so much. When Rose is there at the start, it seemed unnecessary. She had a couple of lines and a quick hug and that was it. Waste of a character and lines to be honest.  But another time Richelle Mead did this was at the end.

SPOILERS That last line. "Dimitri Belikov had arrived" spoke thousands. I LOVE  Dimitri and am so excited he's in the next book in the series, The Golden Lily. That's the only reason that's motivating me to read the next book. Dimitri. END SPOLERS

MEH

Friday, 15 June 2012

[RANT] Dream Fifty Shades of Grey Cast

As you know, I bought the much hyped book Fifty Shades of Grey and although I didn't really finish the first one I did read the other two in the sequel - and I absolutely love them! I guess it's fair to say that I've become a Fifty Shades of Grey lover so imagine my joy and surprise when I heard that the movie rights for the series has been sold already.

THERE'S GOING TO BE A MOVIE!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I've been really curious as to who they're thinking of casting for the roles of Christian and Ana. I've been looking at so many considerations and I've finally decided on who my dream cast would be.

For Christian: Ian Somerhalder

I love Ian Somerhalder already from his role in the Vampire Diaries and I think he would be an excellent Christian Grey. Once I saw his name under potential people being casted, I couldn't think of anyone else.

Also he wants the role!! Ian Somerhalder's reportedly been campaigning for the role himself. Hopefully he'll get it!













For Ana: Emilia Clarke


If you didn't know already, Emilia Clarke plays Daenerys Targaryen on the hit show Game of Thrones (who else is a big fan of it!) On the show, she has platinum blonde hair but she's a natural brunette, like Ana. I think she would be perfect and she's already used to the - ahem - mature scenes, evident from her role in the first season of Game of Thrones.









So that's my dream cast. I just think these two would be amazing and also they're not that well known, which can be bad but also good. Honestly I just want a good movie so hopefully they'll be picked or someone that can represent Christian and Ana well on the big screen.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

[REVIEW] Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Published: March 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Hex Hall #3 [end]
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late? [From Goodreads]


As much as it hurts me to say this, I will admit that I was one of those people anxiously waiting for this book to be released. But I am happy to say that it took me about one month to actually start reading it.  I guess I was only excited for the waiting...  Well, it all went down hill from there.

Spell bound isn't a bad book, it just seemed to emphasize every flaw I missed in the prior books in the Hex Hall series.  Firstly, Rachel Hawkin's writing is very simple, border-line elementary (and I really don't mean to be harsh.)  Of course there are many other books that I absolutely love that write like this.  Twilight, Fifty Shades of Gray (which is a little bit different because it's adult fiction) all use very simple structure and dialogue.  The only thing that bothered me in this book was that the simplicity of it made me feel disengaged from the reading. Unlike the other two series' that I mentioned, I never once felt like I was a part of the story, which sort of ruined part of the experience for me.

Secondly, Rachel Hawkins assumes that the reader will not remember what happened in previous books and opts to put in detailed explanations to allusions of events from the first two books.  I hate that.  If the reader really wants to know what happened, they can go read the book, there is no need to waste words re-iterating what happened.

Also, this may tie in with the elementary writing but when I was reading this book, it was very, very, VERY evident that Rachel Hawkins was pushing the plot forward.  I find that the best books have the plot advance seamlessly.  Characters can travel between locations without you even fully realizing that the plot has moved forward.  That wasn't the case for this book.  [SPOILERS START HERE] At the beginning Sophie finds the Brannicks, then when it is clear that Sophie needs to get her powers back but the only way to is unknown, BAM, Sophie "magically" gets whisked away to the location.  Conveniently she meets Archer there, who was missing for the first half of the story mind you, and the romantic love triangle between Sophie, Archer and Cal starts again. Oh now Sophie's unsure of getting her powers back, oh, lets make a random guy send her a message, AND now she's all powerful and off to save the world.  She also conveniently breaks free from the bad guys even mind control in just a paragraph.  No waste of words there. [END SPOILERS]  I may just be being picky here but it really seemed like all this events were just happening because the story needed to move forward - and possibly end.

There was one part that surprised me, so kudos to you Ms. Hawkins. [SPOILERS START HERE AGAIN]  When Cal sacrifices himself for Sophie, I was shocked. Truly.  Then I realized that Rachel Hawkins probably killed him off so that there was no dispute over who Sophie would end up with.  Well Rachel Hawkins, I liked Cal more than Archer...just saying and I found the death to be unfair and forced, like the rest of the book.[END SPOILERS]

Lastly, the covers.  I know that for every review I've written on this series, I've said how much the covers suck. Well this is no exception.  It really sucks.  I don't think I need to re-emphasize that.

BORROW

Saturday, 12 May 2012

[REVIEW] Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Published: March 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Divergent #2
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.(From Goodreads)


Insurgent: "Noun.  A person who acts in opposition to the established authority, who is not neccessarily regarded as a belligerent."
Well now that explains the title.

Insurgent was as amazing as Divergent. The middle book of the trilogy, I often find, is the worst one, not because of bad writing but because there seems to be more explanation than actual action.  Insurgent is no different.  Divergent was the book that introduced us to this dystopic world while Insurgent is the book that explained the complexity of the world.

Tris and Four's relationship improves (of course!).  I loved the fact that their relationship seemed normal as well.  They had arguments and made up afterwards and that made it seem more like a relationship anyone could be in. I found it more relatable. Sadly, there were some parts that I felt were forced. As much as we all love a good romance scene between our two love birds, I feelt Veronica Roth included them just because the fans wanted it.  At times, it really didn't seem necessary, rather not even in the right moment.  It's just like intense battle or strategy time and then romance scene.  It just didn't seem to fit.

There comes a time when I'll stumble upon a book that leaves me too scared to read further, often because I don't want to know what's going to happen next.  Of course I'll cave and read it.  That moment happened while reading Insurgent.  300 pages in and getting more and more excited until I come upon one part where I just couldn't go forward.  I remember staring at one page for 10 minutes telling myself that everything was going to be okay and that I just had to keep reading but inside I just couldn't.  Guess I definitely wouldn't pass for being Dauntless, eh?  For a book to make me feel that way is absolutely amazing and I applaud Veronica Roth on that.

Now on to the negative, this book wasn't as exciting as the first.  Probably because I could sort of predict what was going to happen. Some parts seemed obvious (anyone else felt that too?) unlike the first where the entire book seemed like a completely different story.  I guess since this is dystopic lit, it had to follow the whole pattern of a somewhat utopic society turning dystopic through a rebellion/revolution of some sort.  Like the hunger games (but not the same!) it was clear that Divergent would get it's uprising in this book so some of the actions weren't that surprising.

It also seemed like Veronica Roth had planned an ending to the second book and wrote towards it because throughout the novel, there seemed to consist of several mini sub plots, more like arcs, that combined together helped in developing the main plot.  I won't say that's bad just that the last couple pages seemed more intense and suspenseful than the entire book.

Honestly thought, Divergent was my favourite book for 2011 but I can't say the same for Insurgent.  It just lacks some parts that made Divergent special for me.  Insurgent is amazing but just not as good as it's first. (BUT YOU SHOULD STILL READ IT BECAUSE THE SERIES IS AMAZING!!!)

BUY (although leaning very closly to the MEH side)

Monday, 30 April 2012

[REVIEW] Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Published: January 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Everneath #1
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...
(From Goodreads)


Everneath. A modern take on the myth of Persephone and Hades.  Well honestly if there wasn't a quote on the cover indicating the connection, I would have never known.  Thank you HarperCollins for your strategically placed quote.

This book was okay.  I was disappointed due to the raving reviews about how good the book is. Well to me it's just okay. 

I don't like how the author split each section.  There's too much.  First she has the chapter headings.  Then she has the frequent flashbacks and present day time that is represented by a bolded, capitalized heading of either NOW or LAST YEAR.  Under each heading, is italicised font of the location and how much time is left to the feeding or until her time is up.  Honestly I felt like I was reading a crime report.  There's no need for all the added information. The only thing I appreciated was the time just so I got an understanding of how much time was left, since she only has six months on the surface.  Also the transitions between past and present are instant.  Often the flashbacks relate to what is currently happening in the past but it happens so quickly that I feel a break from the text when I read it.

The three main characters are developed quite well. Each one has their own distinct identity that is evident the further you get in the book. I felt that some characters could have been given more of a part, such as Nikki's best friend Jules, who is meant to create a sort of barrier between Nikki and Jack but that didn't work out that well, probably because she was a minor character and wasn't really needed since there was already Cole who I think brings enough drama to the book.

The other thing I like about this book is how emotionally connected I felt with Nikki.  Not because I went through exactly what she went through but the fact that even though I didn't go through her pain, I could still understand it.

I'm glad that this book is part of a series because if it wasn't, I would not accept the ending at all.

If you like romance driven books with some mythology mixed in to it, then give this a try.

Enjoy!

PS: the cover is absolutely amazing! So pretty!
MEH

Saturday, 28 April 2012

[REVIEW] Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Published: June 2011
Publisher: Scholastic
Age Group: Young Adult
A thrilling tale of adventure, romance, and one girl's unyielding courage through the darkest of nightmares.

Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her. (From Goodreads)

Sigh. When I saw this book, I thought it would be absolutely amazing.  Clearly I was wrong.  not that this book was bad...just that it wasn't good either.  Ashes, Ashes could have been so much better, perhaps an entire series dedicated to it but it's only a stand alone novel. 

The beginning of the story started out well.  If you can't tell by the cover, this is a dystopic novel and we findt he main character Lucy trying to survive in her shelter.  What really struck me hard about this dystopic world is the fact that Lucy had forgotten who Alice, from Alice in Wonderland was.  I'm pretty sure her shelter was located near/in Central Park in New York City because she was using the Alice statue a measure of how high the water is.  It gave me the sense of sadness that in this dystopic world, people begin to forget information that they've know all their lives.

After the first 100 pages the story kind of goes down hill.  First, SPOILERS ALERT, Lucy finds a boy, her first human contact in a year, and immediately it is evident that he is the romantic interest of her's in this novel.  Then Lucy's shelter floods in and she has no choice but to seek out the boy again and hopefully stay with him.  The reson the world was destroyed is because of a plague.  The very few survivors are living together but there are sweepers who come and abduct them. Lucy runs in to quite a few of them.

Now her romantic interst, Aidan. I thought he was very well written, probably one of the only characters. I don't mean to bash the author but when I read the book, I found that the plot felt rushed and most of the characters weren't developed enough.  The love rival doesn't seem like a love rival but it is evident that she is.  Also, I guess due to the lack of people, it's really hard to have sub plots which might have been why the story was cut short.

The ending of this story could have been much longer.  I was expecting much more and I got worried when I got to the last 50 pages and realized that this story would end and that it couldn't possibly end well in only 50 pages.  I guessed right.

So I guess this is one of those books that really could have been good if it became a series. 

BORROW

Thursday, 26 April 2012

[REVIEW] Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Published: October 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Caster Cronicles #2
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems. (From Goodreads)


First, I've tried very hard to like this series but no matter how much I read it, I just can't seem to like it as much as I thought I would.

Beautiful Darkness starts out almost exactly after the events of the prevous book.  There is little introduction and little facts about the previous book that I found to be quite helpful since it's been awhile since I've read Beautiful Creatures.  That's probably the only thing I have positive to say about this book. (Do you see where this is going?)

The characters in this book are very generic.  And it is blatently obvious when the authors include some plot turning event or information to move the story along and continue it.  Honestly, the story could have continued differently from what the current path is, but I have a feeling that since this is young adult, there is a need for there to be a happy ending, or somewhat happy ending, for the two main characters. i.e. we get plot turners that are very obviously put there so the story goes in the right direction. I've honestly encountered multiple occasions when reading this book where I've pondered to myself how stupid the characters are. 

SPOILER
Lena becomes all depressed during this book and decides to leave Ethan.  By concidence (probably not) a new MORTAL girl comes to town catching Ethan's attention.  Seriously, Ethan ditch Lena and make the mortal your girlfriend. He really should have just left her but of course it is revealed that Ethan is actually a "wayward" i.e. he has to guide Lena and when he realizes why Lena left him it's like a ephiphonal moment and now he needs to save Lena if it's the last thing he does.  "What just happened?"  That was honestly my first response to this when I read it.  What happened to leaving Lena and living a normal life? Hmm? Of course not because then the story wouldn't be intersting.  Then they decide to really mess things up by showing what Lena claimed.  MAJOR SPOILER but clearly they didn't make it so she picked either light or dark.  No, of course Lena had to be special and pick both, making it so the entire second book was pointless searching and depressing moments.  Hurrah.  But seriously, her choice, at the last 50 pages or so made the previous parts absolutely pointless.  The driving force of the second book was Lena's choice and look what happened.  Complete dissapointment.  Now the story is taking a different route but honeestly I'm pretty sure it's going to be the same outline. 

I've rarely found books about witchcraft that I've absolutely loved, and Beautiful Darkness is no exception.  It's not good, but not bad.  Just that a lot of scenes became too predicatable and generic and didn't make sense but was added anyway.

I have nothing else to say about this book and if you choose to read it, please write what you thing about this booka nd let me know.  I'm quite curious to see what other people think of it. Whether you agree with me or not.


(might be a little bit too generous...)
BORROW