Tag Archives: book review

BOOK REVIEW: Evernight by Claudia Gray

4 Jun

I’m not quite sure what to say about EVERNIGHT. I have to admit I’d been avoiding this book because of the cover but finally decided to read it when another blogger recommended it. When I started EVERNIGHT I knew I was going to love it, the first pages pulled me in right away and I knew I would be hooked. What I wasn’t expecting was the story to lull for awhile; making me put the book down more than once.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Bianca wants to escape.

She’s been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He’s not the “Evernight type” either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

“I couldn’t stand it if they took it out on you,” he tells Bianca, “and eventually they would.”

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can’t be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she’s ever believed.

While I could relate to Bianca’s character, her swooning over Lucas left me feeling a little woozy. She fell so hard so quickly that I didn’t have enough time to fall in love with Lucas myself which left me feeling a bit off balance when I hardly even knew the guy. The one character I did fall in love with was Balthazar; he was a gentlemen, he was confident, smart, and he genuinely cared about Bianca. (I was quietly rooting for him throughout the entire book).

What I think a lot of people have felt deceived about was the twist in the second half of the book, which I already knew about due to some spoiler-filled reviews. But the twist, even knowing it, didn’t bother me in the least, although I think some things should have panned out differently, Gray knowingly put the pieces together so that it wouldn’t be such a shock when the reader finally got to that twist.

By the end, the story had picked up and I couldn’t put the book down! I was turning page after page trying to figure out what was going to happen next. The tension is definitely in the second half of the book. So if you haven’t picked up EVERNIGHT yet you definitely should.

BOOK REVIEW: Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

2 Jun

First Impressions: RIVETING

I’ve got chills running up and down my arms right now. I don’t know what I can tell you about ULTRAVIOLET without giving away the entire intricate plot. It’s a story that weaves mental illness with science fiction and it does so brilliantly. Alison is a relatable character filled with fears, the absence of confidence, and an inner strength I wish I had. ULTRAVIOLET kept me riveted from the first chapter to the last and everywhere in-between.

 

 

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.

This is not her story.

Unless you count the part where I killed her.

Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison’s condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can’t explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori — the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?

I wasn’t expecting so much from this book about a girl in a mental institution who is more than she seems. And I definitely wasn’t expecting the twists and turns this story took towards the second half of the book. Alison is different from other people; where there are sounds Alison sees colors and where there are words Alison tastes flavors. She’s sent to a mental institution because they think she’s murdered the most popular girl in her school. And the only one who believes her innocence is not who she thinks they are. So without giving away any spoilers, I need to tell you to get this book when it releases on September 1st (US)! This book definitely caught me by surprise and spun this unbelievable tale of believing in yourself no matter what anybody says.

Cover: I really think a different cover would be more appropriate for the story…

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

25 May

I admit I initially wanted to read this book because of the cover, I mean, look at it! It’s absolutely stunning. And then I started reading… And I was pleasantly surprised. This was my first Steampunk novel and I was immediately swept away.

Cross’ world is littered with metal contraptions and interesting characters. The main character is captivating, daring, naïve, and strong all wrapped into this little package. In other words, I LOVED this book. I don’t want to give away the entire premise because then I’d be giving away some spoilers but I’ll just let you read the synopsis from goodreads:

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on—even if it seems no one believes her.

I was utterly surprised by this book, although I loved the cover, I didn’t expect to love the story as much as I did. And now I’m in love with this Victorian world filled with metal machines and robots. It’s definitely different from the books that I normally read but it kept my attention and was captivating and intriguing.

I loved Finley because of how much she progressed as a character throughout the story. She wasn’t a one note character, she grew and changed and became stronger and I felt like I was with her during that entire journey. And although there was chemistry between Finley and Griffin, it didn’t overwhelm the story. I was more interested in the mystery that was taking place and the tension was an added bonus!

I kind of felt a bit disconnected from the rest of the characters but I think that’s because the perspectives changed so much. And although I loved the character of Jack, Finley’s attraction to him seemed a bit random. The ending definitely made me feel like I was watching “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” So you can probably count on this being book one in a series.  I would definitely check out THE GIRL IN THE STEEL CORSET if you haven’t already. It’s such a great intro into Steampunk if you haven’t read any before!

BOOK REVIEW: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

23 May

Favorite line: “Maybe he was afraid I had Stockholm Syndrome after all, the kind where your captor makes your arms tingle.”

(Writing this during my lunch break) I expected to like GOING TOO FAR, I even expected to enjoy it, what I didn’t expect was how much I’d love it. This is my first Echols novel and it definitely will not be my last.

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far…and almost doesn’t make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge — and over….

I wanted to shake Meg throughout the entire story until the reason behind her outrageous behavior was eventually explained. And then I still wanted to shake her. But I still empathized with her and wanted her to make it through, even if she was kicking and screaming the entire time.

I didn’t expect to get so many laughs out of GOING TO FAR. I was laughing throughout the entire book at Meg’s antics and her quirky southern phrases. The way Echols has written GOING TOO FAR pulls you into the story so you don’t feel like a bystander but a significant part of the story, and Meg is pulling you along the entire way.

Not to mention the incredible chemistry between Meg and John. I was rooting for them throughout the entire story until the very end. So if you haven’t read GOING TOO FAR I would definitely recommend checking it out!

BOOK REVIEW: Divergent by Veronica Roth

20 May

First Impressions: OMG! YES!

Last Impressions: OMG! YES YES YES!

I just finished DIVERGENT during my lunch break and OMG I can’t describe the emotions that are running through me at the moment. I have this lump in the pit of my stomach and butterflies trying to fly out of my throat and my heart is so full and heavy! Indescribable!

I have to admit, I was wary going into DIVERGENT because of the hype and the synopsis. It just didn’t sound like my cup of tea (or any caffeinated beverage…). But it went above and beyond any of my expectations. This has to be the best book of the year, no, the best book EVER.

Here’s a synopsis from Goodreads:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

I laughed, I cried, I did both at the same time and my stomach was in knots the entire time! Right when I felt relieved, something else happened, and then something else happened. I do have to warn you, there is a lot of violence, like, a lot of violence and it’s not for little kiddies to read at bedtime…

This is definitely a character driven story. Tris’ character is relatable; sometimes I wanted to scream at her and other times I couldn’t believe her bravery. She was selfish and selfless and everything in-between, she was HUMAN. And I think that’s something I find a little hard to find in YA literature lately. HUMAN characters that aren’t cut from cardboard boxes and flung into unbelievable circumstance and somehow make it out alive. Tris was believable, relatable, and I was emotionally connected with her from the first moment her voice rose from the pages. If you haven’t read DIVERGENT… What are you waiting for?? Get it YESTERDAY, yes, I said yesterday.

Random paragraph: I look at my reflection in the mirror on the back wall and see a stranger. She is blond like me, with a narrow face like mine, but that’s where the similarities stop.  I do not have a black eye, and a split lip and a bruised jaw. I am not as pale as a sheet. She can’t possibly be me, though she moves when I move.

And does anyone else think the Divergent just have ADD…?

BOOK REVIEW: CRAVE by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz

15 Apr

When I picked up CRAVE from Borders I was ecstatic, I’ve been waiting for this book forever and it took me long enough to finally get it. And that wait was completely worth it. I loved every moment of CRAVE even though I wanted to shake Shay the main character more than once. It drew me in from the beginning and it’s definitely a quick read; it took me less than a day. But once you start reading you won’t want to stop.

Shay has lived with a blood disorder her entire life, she’s known as the “Sick Girl” to everyone in town. Her best friend is as obsessive about her health as her mother and her stepfather is a famous doctor. When her stepfather finds a new concoction of blood for Shay that seems to work miracles, Shay begins to take risks she was never able to before. But with the new blood comes visions, visions of Gabriel. And Gabriel is more than he seems.

I really enjoyed this book and the cliffhanger in the end definitely annoyed me because now I have to wait for the next book. Is it sad that I’m getting used to books stopping right in the middle of the action? Almost as if they intended to write a longer book but the word count was too high so they chopped it in half? Other than that this book was great, Shay is a relatable character (even though I wanted to yell at her sometimes because of her “I feel better, I can do anything without consequences” attitude) and her wants and dreams are recognizable. Although I did want to kind of roll my eyes at the romance aspect (which kind of just popped up) I would definitely recommend this book and the next one ARISE when it comes out in September.

Random Quote: “And it needed a home. So did all the other sad toys in big bin at the end of the aisle, but she couldn’t rescue everybody.”

Coming up: HUGE gift (not only books) giveaways… (I need to let go of some books…) And some giveaways for vampire lovers… 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: MATCHED by Ally Condie

30 Nov

I’m posting this in-between exams so I hope it’s coherent…

I fell in love with MATCHED, the dystopian 1984-esque world, and the two boys who fall for Cassia. I’m going to warn you now; huge complaints from people have been that the book was too slow, boring, and action was nilch. This reminded a bit of what I said about PEGASUS by Robin McKinley; the book was more like an introduction to the characters, the world, and the action to come. Except in this case, the action does not come until the last 30 pages or so.

Cassia lives in a world where everything is decided for her; her meal portions, uniformed outfits, and who she will marry. After her Matching ceremony a glitch on her viewscreen reveals another boys face for a moment, the boy she is not meant to be with. Or is she? And following the death of her grandfather, Cassia begins to question all of the rules and laws that govern her life.

When I first started reading I was able to put this book down several times and come back to it… until Ky entered the story. He is mysterious, intelligent, and he quietly rebels against the Society. Their chemistry is palpable and sometimes I wanted to yell at Cassia to DO something even though I know she can’t. It wasn’t until the end that I felt Cassia woke up and the story really began. I also fell in love with Xander, her Match, who seems to be more free-thinking than he lets on. The only complaint I have, which really isn’t a complaint, is that I wanted to know more about the Outer Provinces. There is so much information there and I know Condie will go into it more in the next book but the waiting is torture. I really fell in the love with the characters and the huge story that I know is coming, don’t let the comments on the pacing put you off! You can get MATCHED on Amazon today! (Or your local bookstore)

BOOK REVIEW: PEGASUS by Robin McKinley

2 Nov

First thoughts: “But this is only the beginning!”

I got this book exactly two months ago and I’m still twisting myself in knots about it. If you’ve read Robin McKinley before, you’re probably familiar with her open-ended endings. They’re usually full of unanswered questions and unexplored possibilities; one reason why her writing pulls me in. And at the end of every book I’m usually hoping that the sky will open up and a sequel will fall into my lap… and it never happens. So at the end of PEGASUS I was left feeling even more forlorn than usual when I read the last line and realized that this was the end.

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations. (Goodreads)

When I read the last line my first thoughts were: But this is only the beginning! A reaction I’m used to having but never actually validating. PEGASUS ends right when the action begins to start. The entire book felt like an introduction to an even larger story and adventure. It reminded me of the beginning of THE HERO AND THE CROWN but instead of coming full circle it ends on the climax.

When I read the first line I was zapped into this word of winged horse-like creatures and Rocs, and I was reminded again of why I love to write. It reminded me that details aren’t always the enemy in this quick-read world. Even though I felt like the entire book was an introduction to the world and the relationship between Ebon and Silvi, I couldn’t put the book down when I tried. I was enamored from Ebon’s first line to Silvi, “Aren’t you excited, or are you just a dull stupid human?” And from there I fell in love with their world and their families. I can’t help feeling like there’s more to this story; I know there is more to this story. I’m just wondering if I’m going to have to leave what happens all up to my imagination.

EDIT: I just read Robin McKinley’s blog and a sequel has fallen into my lap! There will be a book II! So go read PEGASUS!

BOOK REVIEW: PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White

20 Oct

First thoughts: “OMG, where can I get a pink Tasey?”

PARANORMALCY features a blonde, pink stiletto boot wearing heroine where “OMG” and “Oh, bleep!” consistently litter the pages. By the end of the book I was saying, “Oh bleep! How am I going to survive until the next book?”

PARANORMALCY is Buffy meets The Bourne Identity… Evie works for IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) and she “bags-and-tags” those paranormals who aren’t registered with IPCA. She’s being romantically pursued (can stalking be called romantic…?) by a faerie ex-boyfriend, paranormals are mysteriously dying, and a new shape-shifter in containment is hiding more secrets than Evie can imagine.

When I drove to Borders to get PARANORMALCY the day it came out, I couldn’t find it. It was nowhere to be seen. It was hidden behind another book and there were only THREE copies. I was counting down the days, looking for giveaways, and trying not squeal when I finally held it in my hands. And after I read the first page, I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. Let’s not forget the gorgeous cover which actually does refer to an important scene in the book (even though a number of reviewers say it doesn’t…)

As high as my expectations were for this book, it was still able to exceed every one of them. Almost every chapter has a new revelation; it was a refreshing change from those YA books that like to drag out those nail-biting questions until you’re at the end of the book and you still haven’t learned anything new.

PARANORMALCY is one of the first books to make me LOL the entire time I read it. It is my favorite YA book out this year. You won’t be disappointed to have this one on your shelf.

One of my Favorite Lines:  “Wait—seriously? There are unicorns? You’re lying.”

A.N.: The next day at Borders there were no more copies… the next week the shelf was full of them!

Check out Kiersten White’s hilarious and info-filled blog (here)!

Book Review: NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer

18 Oct

I was excited for the release of NIGHTSHADE and ecstatic when I received a copy a month ago; I put it aside in my pile of to-be-read. I wanted it to be a reward for finishing my school work… I read the first couple of chapters and kept reading (I finished my school work after).

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

Many readers will definitely find similarities between BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE by Annette Curtis Klause and TWILIGHT. The forbidden boy she shouldn’t be attracted to (because he’s human) and the lothario Ren who seems to date anything that moves.

It definitely took the first few chapters until I was swept away into Calla’s world. But after those few chapters I couldn’t put the book down. I fell in love with her human interest Shay and was definitely groaning in frustration with the cliffhanger in the end.

This book is in stores and Amazon tomorrow!

A.N.: Be prepared for a long read, 452 pages.

Book Giveaways COMING SOON!