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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
ISBN: 9781416975885
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released: December 06, 2011
Page #: 498
Source: My public library

"In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street - and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move - and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will - the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart."
First Lines:

"The fog was thick, muffling sound and sight. Where it parted, Will Herondale could see the street rising ahead of him, slick and wet and black with rain, and he could hear the voices of the dead.
Not all Shadowhunters could hear ghosts, unless the ghosts chose to be heard, but Will was one of those who could."
Page 1

If you have read my review of the first book in this series (Clockwork Angel), then you will know that I already love it and got my hands on Clockwork Prince as soon as it was possible.

This is the continuation of the first book - in that it picks up right after that one left us. It's Victorian London and Tessa is fully living with the Shadowhunters and becoming one of them (well, as much as she can). They have become her family. But one person in the Shadowhunter world threatens to take all of that away. They are tasked with finding the Magister and freeing the world of him... if not, the Institute would be taken over by - effectively - the bad Shadowhunters. Not good. With all of this happening, Tessa also gets bitten by the lurve bug. It's dramatic :).

Okay, so this book has way more romance in it than I remember the first book having. Do you see me complaining? No. Not at all. There were a few scenes (ahem) that I may or may not have read a couple of times. Whew! Are my cheeks flushed? Anyway, it's really well written and I love that the author gives us just enough detail to get imaginative. Was I pissed at points when I decided that Tessa was falling for the wrong guy? Yes. Yes, I was. But I think I'll be okay... maybe. It all depends on what happens in the next book.

One thing I really enjoyed was getting to know some of the many characters better. Sophie, Charlotte, Jessie, and even some of Henry. The author did a great job introducing some new characters as well. I'm very interested to hear more about Gideon and Gabriel - scorned brothers of the bad Shadowhunters. yay for drama! And I love that their new cook only sings crazy Irish ballads about murder and death. What a great detail!

There were a few things about this story that surprised me. I didn't realize it was going to be quite so heavy - in the topic arena. So much discussion of family and how they were each raised. I liked getting some of that background. I think it helped me love the characters that much more. There are a few mysteries revealed, and some you're given a few more clues about. Each one that came around, I was more impressed how the author handled them.

I know that these books are huge - page-wise - but I really flew through this book. I had to find out who Tessa would end up with and whether they would still have a place to live. I was all in. The first novels by this author don't have quite the same effect for me... but I recommend just about everything she does. I haven't been disappointed yet.
Other Blog Reviews:

Bookpeople's Blog
Fictitious Delicious
Rhiannon Paille
Mindful Musings
Penny Reads
The Reader Blog
Sophistikatied Reviews

Waiting on Wednesday (85)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Dead to You
by Lisa McMann
To be released: February 07, 2012

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

I loved the Wake series by Lisa McMann - and I know this book is going to be just as awesome. It has a heart-wrenching premise (just like Wake) and it sounds like there there's a tad bit of a mystery. What more could you want? I'm definitely excited for this one.

What are you waiting on this week?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (84)

Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Getting Over Garrett Delaney
by Abby McDonald
To be released: January 24, 2012

Summary from Follett:
"Seventeen-year-old Sadie Allen has spent the last two years pining for her best friend, Garrett, but when he heads off to literary camp for the summer without her, she decides to kick her unrequited crush for good, with the help of her co-workers, another boy, and her own summer twelve-step program."

This book sounds 100% adorable. I could really use a book like this right now. Soemthing light, fun, and hilarious. I don't think I've read the other books by this author, but I definitely am interested in this one. Aren't crushes the worst?! :)

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
ISBN: 9780373210336
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: May 34, 2011
Page #: 473
Source: My public library

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.
First Lines:

"The moment she saw the young man walking down the darkened hall toward her, twirling his walking stick, Finley Jayne knew she'd be unemployed before the sun rose. Her third dismissal in as many months."
Page 9

There are times that I really want to get more into steampunk books... but there is some part of me that has a hard time re-learning history with machines/robots in it. I've had this problem before, so I'll try not to let it color my view of this book.

We have a girl - Finley - who is abnormally strong and sometimes forgets herself. Meaning, she has a whole other side. Think Jekyll and Hyde (in fact, that is referenced in the book as well). Her two sides like two different boys - both powerful in their own worlds. She falls into the lives of Griffin and his friends, who are figuring out what is making people so different. And there's someone who is using their power for evil. So there's mystery, intrigue, lurve, robots, and historical characters. Well, one really... Queen Victoria. Which was an interesting thing to throw in.

Honestly, I picked up this book because of its cover. How pretty is it?! And it speaks of a strong woman, I think. And strong, she is - stronger than most men in any age. But that's all physical strength - her mind is a bit of a mess at first. But you also have another strong woman character in this story, Emily. She's basically a robot genius and comes up with things no one could imagine. She really makes this story interesting for me and I wish we could have more about her. There's a lot more going on with her and you only get a taste of it.

Speaking of which, there's a lot going on in this one book. You've got characters trying to figure out who they even are and where they came from. You have characters that are just now joining the group and you learn very little about their backgrounds (see: Jasper and Finley). There's a villain who you only see enough of to hate him. There is the beginning of a love triangle that is only touched on. And a lot more...

The whole book starts about Finley and her affliction (if that's what you want to call it) - one that makes her lose herself. And you hear a lot about her struggle and how her life has been and what she's dealt with. You also get the feeling that this is something she has a really hard time with. I mean, who wouldn't - if your other half started taking over large chunks of your life. But about halfway through the book, it's like things are magically cured. Ta da! No more problems! Now you're just strong and awesome. I think it was a little abrupt for me. And if she was cured so suddenly, I wished for some more talk of adjustment to her new life. I dunno, I just missed Finley in the last half of the book - when we were fighting villains instead (and learning of other romance triangles that never resolve).

Of course, this book is left open-ended, and it's called part of the steampunk chronicles. The author's website says the next book will be out in summer '12. I hope there is even more development of these characters and their strange relationships. I look forward to reading this one, for sure. I'm crossing my fingers that this second book will be fantastic.
Other Blog Reviews:

Feeling Fictional
A Fangirl's View
Geek Mom
The Small Town Book Blog
Refracted Light
Bookshelf Banter
On a Book Bender

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (83)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Truth (XVI #2)
by Julie Karr
To be released: January 19, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Nina Oberon's life has changed enormously in the last few months. When her mother was killed, Nina discovered the truth about her father, the leader of the Resistance. And now she sports the same Governing Council—ordered tattoo of XVI on her wrist that all sixteen-year-old girls have. The one that announces to the world that she is easy prey to predators. But Nina won't be anyone's stereotype. And when she joins an organization of girls working within the Resistance, she knows that they can put an end to one of the most terrifying secret programs the GC has ever conceived. Because the truth always comes out . . . and the consequences can be deadly."

I really loved XVI. And I know this book will be amazing too. If you haven't read XVI yet, I fully recommend it. It's one of those under-the-radar awesome dystopian novels. At the age of sixteen, all girls have an XVI tattooed on their wrists - and it has unwanted consequences. I loved reading about Nina's struggle to understand the world around her... and I know the next step is going to be amazing. So looking forward to this one!

What are you waiting on this week?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crossed by Ally Condie

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
ISBN: 978052542362
Publisher: Dutton Books
Released: November 01, 2011
Page #: 367
Source: My Public Library

"Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his sure death - only to find that he has escaped to the majestic, but treacherous canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

Narrated from both Cassia and Ky's points of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever."
First Lines:

"I'm standing in a river. It's blue. Dark blue. Reflecting the color of the evening sky.
I don't move. The river does. It pushes against me and hisses through the grass at the water's edge."
Page 3

If you'd like to check out my review of Matched (the first book) from earlier this year, well here ya go. I probably shouldn't have reread it before I start this review, but what can ya do? :)

So, this is the second book in the Matched trilogy. Both Ky and Cassia have either been removed or removed themselves from the Society. They want to find the Rebellion, but they are taking different paths to do so. Or so we think. Ahem. But the things they find out in the wide world were more than Cassia expected. They learn more about themselves, each other, and the ways of the Society.

The first half of this book is filled with action, adventure, intrigue, etc. But then the goal is reached way before the end of the book. The thing that Ky and Cassia are trying to do is already accomplished. When I got to that part, I really did stop and wonder what in the world was going to come next. Were they really going to spend the whole second half of the book building up to the next one.

Instead, I found out that the second half was mostly them figuring things out and trying to decide what to do next. There are a lot of lies that come out and friendships that are questioned... and much more. But the action bit kinda stops. So, if you're only in it for the action... you might want to stop halfway through :). I'm only kind of kidding.

The relationship between Ky and Cassia is still sort of strange to me. In the first book, I was concerned because the connection happened so fast and everything revolved around it. And now this whole book is about them finding each other again. They didn't seem to know each other long enough for this sort of life-ending action to get them back together.

The ending does leave room for a little hope. I think I liked how it ended... but I think they revealed the end to a mystery without meaning to. Or sort of alluding to it. Now I have visions of what the third book is going to be like - and I really hope I'm right. Because I think it would be awesome... mostly because of how I hope Cassia's life will turn out. I'm not going to mention it because I don't wanna be super-wrong. Because then I'll probably be disappointed. So yeah, not saying anything. Also because it semi-gives away the ending of this book. And we wouldn't want that.

I will definitely be recommending this book to people who love the dystopian genre. This book reminds me of other dystopian novels in several ways... but it's still a good story. And I am excited to see how the next book turns out. It looks like we have another year until that happens, of course. But give these books a try. I think you'll enjoy them.
Other Blog Reviews:

Blkosiner's Book Blog
YA Books Central
Alison's Book Marks
Finding the Write Way
Miss Remmers' Review
Emily's Reading Room
The Sweet Bookshelf

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (82)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

The Whole Story of Half a Girl
by Veera Hiranandani
To be released: January 10, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"After her father loses his job, Sonia Nadhamuni, half Indian and half Jewish American, finds herself yanked out of private school and thrown into the unfamiliar world of public education. For the first time, Sonia's mixed heritage makes her classmates ask questions—questions Sonia doesn't always know how to answer—as she navigates between a group of popular girls who want her to try out for the cheerleading squad and other students who aren't part of the "in" crowd.
At the same time that Sonia is trying to make new friends, she's dealing with what it means to have an out-of-work parent—it's hard for her family to adjust to their changed circumstances. And then, one day, Sonia's father goes missing. Now Sonia wonders if she ever really knew him. As she begins to look for answers, she must decide what really matters and who her true friends are—and whether her two halves, no matter how different, can make her a whole."

It's not too often that I get excited about a realistic fiction title. But this story sounds wonderful. Not only does it deal with some of the issues in kids who are looking to find their identity... but also with some of the economic stuff of parents losing jobs. I just think it's going to be a very powerful and awesome story. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

What are you waiting for this week?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Title: Deadly Cool
Author: Gemma Halliday
ISBN: 9780062003317
Publisher: Harper Teen
Released: October 11, 2011
Page #: 303
Source: My public library

"First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he's pegged a the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he's depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

As much as I wouldn't mind watching him squirm, I know that he's innocent. So I'm brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I'm still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what's worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer's next victim.

I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time."
First Lines:

"There are three things you never want to find in your boyfriend's locker: a sweaty jockstrap, a D minus on last week's history test, and an empty condom wrapper.
Lucky me, I hit the trifecta."
Page 1

I'm not ashamed to tell you all that I picked up this book because I thought it was going to be some awesome sci-fi. But instead I got a really fun, girly mystery! So it's all good :). Even if the chick on the cover is dead.

So, it's the story of a girl who just so happens to find a dead body in her boyfriend's bedroom. This kicks off a huge investigation - because she needs to clear his name. Even though he was cheating on her. And he's on the run. And she hates him now. But she has to know who is killing girls in their high school. She teams up with a badboy with serious internet savvy to give them an edge. I'm sure you can imagine that the mystery was solved in the end. Like any good light mystery novel :).

While there are lots of mentions of Nancy Drew throughout the book - and the fact that Hartley is nothing like her. But in reality, it's a lot like one of those books. Which can be a really good thing. It's an easy sell to the people who loved Nancy Drew... new or old. It's very formulaic... very action packed... and we have a girl out to save the town. And she does a better job than the cops... obvs.

I really grew to think Hartley was awesome. She's snarky and funny and intelligent and girly and sneaky... all rolled into one. I can imagine her being just about anyone. She doesn't seem cookie cutter and she has a mind of her own - that speaks out a little too often for her liking. I really thought some of the dialog was hilarious and would love to see more from her!

The mystery itself is a little transparent. I mean, I didn't know who did it until they finally announced it in the end... but there are a lot of very obvious "it must be this guy! or this guy!" stuff. Which is fine, but it's clearly throwing you in different directions so you don't know what's going to happen. I suppose that's a good quality to have as a mystery novel :).

One thing kinda cracked me up... Have you ever known Color Guard members to be popular? I mean, seriously. I was a band nerd 100%. And our color guard was not... at all... popular. In fact, they were just the ones who wanted to be in band but didn't want to play an instrument. Perhaps the situation would have been different in another school, but the whole concept really cracked me up. I mean, seriously?! Popular?!

Well, if you are looking for a wonderful, easy, fun mystery, then I highly recommend this book. It's a lot of fun - with boys and makeup and crazy outfits mixed in with intrigue and murder and suspects. It's a pretty good balance, if you ask me. And if you're reading this, you're asking me :). So I would give this one a shot. It was worth the time for me - and the cover is pretty. What more do you want?
Other Blog Review:

A Fangirl's View
Ten Cent Notes
So Many Books, So Little Time
IB Book Blogging
Sony the Book Lover
Zoey's Uncreatively Titled Blog
YA Bibliophile

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Your Average Princess by Kirstina Springer

Title: Just Your Average Princess
Author: Kristina Springer
ISBN: 9780374361501
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Released: October 11, 2011
Page #: 197
Source: My Public Library

"Jamie Edwards has loved growing up on a pumpkin patch - the miles of pumpkins, the corn maze, the smiling parents with their eager kids, the apple cider, the hayrides, and even the goats in the petting zoo that have ruined three of her jackets. But ever since her cousin Milan Woods stepped down from Jamie's dad's old red pickup truck and into the pile of rotten pumpkin guts, ruining her two-thousand-dollar shoes, things have really stunk.

Jamie knows she should feel sorry for Milan. She can't imagine it's easy for Milan to leave her friends and family back in Los Angeles and move to Average, Illinois - population 1,000. But it's kind of hard since (a) Milan's drop-dead gorgeous, (b) she's a gazillionaire and the daughter of two of Hollywood's hottest film stars, (c) she's captured the attention of everyone in town, including Danny, the hottie hayride driver who Jamie's been crushing on ever since she was old enough to start working at the Patch, and (d) she's about to steal the title of Pumpkin Princess right out from underneath Jamie!

But Jamie's not going to stoop to Milan's level. She's going to don her overalls and do her job the way she's always done it, pigtails and all. The people of Average will know she's the one who should be crowned Princess. They will pick the right person. Won't they?"
First Lines:

Thump, thump, thump.
'What the -?' The redhead woman standing across from me at the checkout pales and her dark brown eyes widen. She's looking at something over my right shoulder."
Page 3

A-dorable. Just darn-tootin' adorable. :) It's always refreshing to have a little farm girl fiction, isn't it?

This is the story of a girl who lives and works on a pumpkin patch in Average, Illinois. Everything is perfect until her snobby, famous cousin rolls into town. Jamie doesn't know why she's there in the middle of the school year, but she can't wait for her to leave! Milan starts ruining everything Jamie loves - enough that she seems to be everyone's favorite. As you can imagine, there's a "moral to the story" in the end.

Okay, so I love books like this sometimes. They really are light and easy... but not fluffy enough to be irritating. Honestly, I loved this book. I think it's because the main girl was so strong, proud and awesome. She is everything I always hope girls will want to be. She's a hard worker... a great friend... and someone who understands what is important in this world. I think she may have made this book much better for me. I just wanted to be her friend :).

There is, of course, a love interest. A farm-boy love interest. Does it get any better than that? It's written in a way that isn't pathetic or anything - which really happens more often than it should. It gives the story a little depth and drive for our main girl, Jamie. Of course, she doesn't know what to do with herself when he's around... but I think it's well done.

Can I say how awesome the setting is? Can you imagine working on a pumpkin patch as a teenager? And having a love interest at work. And having your best friend working with you. And knowing that it's your family's farm and things are going well? It just seems kinda awesome to me. Perhaps because all of my jobs as a teen were drugery work. This just sounds like fun :). That's probably not how everyone feels about it, but it made the setting really fun. I appreciated that.

I really will be recommending this book to anyone who loves girly stories. It's great for any age because the themes really translate to almost anyone. I think it will go over really well. And based on some other reviews I've read, it seems to have done just that. I hope you give this one a shot. It's short and sweet... really!
Other Blog Reviews:

Small Review
The Fiction Enthusiast
Me, My Shelf and I
I Like These Books
Simply Books
Paper Dreams
Reading Vacation

Waiting on Wednesday (81)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

by Marissa Meyer

To be released: January 03, 2012

Summary from Barnes and Noble:
"Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future."

Hellloooo sci fi! Doesn't this book look and sound amazing? I'm always excited for a sci fi that seems even remotely girly. They always seem to be a bit boyish. But this one sounds super amazing! Not to mention the retelling aspect - yay Cinderella! I think this one is going to be awesome. What say you? :)

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Title: Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle #4)
Author: Christopher Paolini
ISBN: 9780375856112
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Released: November 08, 2011
Page #: 860
Source: My public library

"Not so very long ago, Eragon - Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider - was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance.

The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to imagine. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the spellbinding conclusion to Christopher Paolini's bestselling Inheritance cycle."
First Lines:

"The dragon Saphira roared, and the soldiers before her quailed.
'With me!' shouted Eragon. He lifted Brisingr over is head, holding it aloft for all to see. The blue sword flashed bright and iridescent, stark against the wall of black clouds building in the west."
Page 1

I have two words for this book (and possibly just the author in general): Long. Winded. Or is that really one word? Whatever. It still applies.

So, if you haven't read the first three books in this "cycle," put down the review and walk away. There is a lot of ground for you to cover before you read this book. A lot. Not to deter you or anything...

This is the last book in the Inheritance Cycle - a very long, drawn out series of four books. This is the one that answers all of the questions and brings everything full circle. It is the conclusion to an epic story of a boy and his dragon taking on the most evil king... ever. Their whole society hangs in the balance and Eragon is feeling the pressure. He is the only one that can defeat Galbatorix and things are starting to look grim.

Inheritance took FOR.E.VER to read. When I got it from the library, I figured 21 days would be plenty to finish it - in fact, I scoffed and said I would be done in a week. I was wrong. It's due in a couple days and I had to do some concentrated reading time to get it done. So, my vote goes to this book for the Longest Book Ever. Okay, enough complaining about the sheer size.

I honestly love the bones of the story in the Inheritance Cycle. I love the story of Eragon and Saphira and all of the obstacles they overcome and how they are changed because of them. I do love many of the side characters - Roran, Arya, Nasuada.... I could go on. I truly think that the base story of these books is wonderful. I think that's why these books have become so popular with just about anyone who loves fantasy.

But... there's a lot of extraneous stuff that I'm not sure helps the story. There seems to be an excess of flowery language and desription of things that don't seem obviously important. I'm sure at some level it helps the story develop so you have a full understanding of the world. But there were times that I would just put the book down after some crazy description thinking it was highly unnecessary. Just as an example... in the last 50 pages, the author introduces a new city altogether. Why? Just because it is shown on the map and no one has talked about it yet?

Don't even get me started on the ending. The final battle was wonderful and more than I could have hoped for. I think it gave the right tone for the last big fight... it was well done. And maybe it ended just a little too abruptly. It's after that when I thought we should have just stopped. Instead, the author takes us on a journey to tie up every possible loose end throughout the story. Do we really have to go say goodbye to everyone? Even though the ending itself is over 100 pages long... it feels rushed compared to the rest of the books.

I have to mention one more thing that drove me crazy. Each time a plan was hatched...usually a battle plan... the reader is kept in the dark exactly the same way. It was all... "So and so described his idea to so and so. So and so thought it was sheer madness!" With lots of flowery language, of course. And then a chapter or two later you finally see what the plan was. I think this happened a couple times with Roran and a few with Eragon. Enough that it was noticably the same tactic all over again. I would have appreciated a little variety in that department.

It looks like I have a lot of negatives about this book, huh? Well, I think perhaps I'm bitter because it took me so darn long to finish it. That and I felt like the story could have been told without being over 800 pages long. Personal opinion, of course. Will I continue to recommend this series? Yes, I definitely will. I've always recommended it with a little piece of caution about the length of the books.

With that being said, I'm going to go read something short and light.
Other Blog Reviews:

Book Infinity
Fantasy Review
Good Choice Reading
Ink Scrawl
San Diego Reader

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (80)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Switched (Trylle #1)
by Amanda Hocking
To be released: January 03, 2012

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"When Wendy Everly was six years old her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her, and eleven years later Wendy learns that her mother was right and that she is actually a changeling troll, who, at the age of seventeen, must be returned to her rightful home."

I'm sure you can imagine that the first thing that caught my eye was the cover of this book. It's beautiful! I love the use of color and the swirly bits are very cool. For some reason, I thought this book was only coming out as an ebook or something, but I just got excited when I saw it was being published soon! The plot sounds intriguing - enough to catch my interest, for sure.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Out This Week Nov 20-26

I could only find a few things coming out this week, but I'm definitely ready for them!

  • 11.21.11 The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
  • 11.22.11 In the Forests of the Night (Goblin Wars #2) by Kersten Hamilton

  • 11.22.11 Saving June by Hannah Harrington
  • 11.22.11 Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles) by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

  • 11.22.11 Lightbringer by KD McEntire

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (79)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

by Brodi Ashton
To be released: January 24, 2012

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"Regretting her decision to forfeit her life on Earth to become an immortal on Everneath, a world between Earth and Hell, teenaged Nikki is given the chance to return to "the Surface" for six months, in this story loosely based on the "Hades and Persephone" myth."

I've always loved the Persephone story... and I can only imagine that this book will be a wonderful modern version. Plus, the cover is gorgeous. I will definitely be looking for this one when it comes out.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Out This Week Nov 13-19

Here are some wonderful books coming out this week...

  • 11.15.11 Death Watch by Ari Berk
  • 11.15.11 Wherever You Go by Heather Davis

  • 11.15.11 The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
  • 11.15.11 The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix

  • 11.15.11 Void by Rhiannon Lassiter
  • 11.15.11 Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  • 11.15.11 Dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman
  • 11.15.11 The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Eve by Anna Carey

Title: Eve
Author: Anna Carey
ISBN: 9780062048509
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
Released: October 04, 2011
Page #: 318
Source: ARC from the publisher

"Evocative, romantic, and at times terrifying, EVE is the powerful first novel in an exciting new trilogy.

The night before Eve's graduation from her all-girls school, she discovers what really happens to new graduates - and the horrifying fare 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. When soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
First Lines:

"By the time the sun set over the fifty-foot perimeter wall, the School lawn was covered with twelfth-year students. The younger girls leaned out of the dormitory windows, waving their New American flags as we sang and danced."
Page 1

I'm going to have a hard time reviewing this book without thinking about the ending. I honestly hated the ending, but I really liked this book. Darn last five pages.

The story is about a girl living in New America who has been isolated in the School for her whole life. With no idea about the outside world - besides what the teachers tell her - she learns that everything is not as it seems. She was told of a wonderful life after School, but instead she found out the girls are all used for breeding. So she runs away... but is helpless to all the world throws at her. The gangs, wild animals, and just... men... have her baffled. It isn't until she meets Caleb that things start to make sense.

This is the second book I've read lately where the main chick starts out like a serious wuss. Like in a "shake them to make them understand" way. But it's always because of how their lives have been up until the point of the story. So I am going to try and ignore this portion of her character because there is a point at which she finally works for herself - instead of having other people do things for her. Not that it lasts long, but I don't wanna talk about it.

I think my favorite character in this book might be Arden. She's a hard-ass. She's got the world figured out and knows what she'll have to do to make things better. She runs away before Eve does and has survived just fine. The other characters I really like are the boys Eve meets in the hideout. The young ones are just so trusting... I seriously cried at one point about them. Can you imagine adorable 4 and 5 year old boys being abandoned to the wild? I don't even want to think about it.

Caleb seemed to be the most grounded character in the whole novel. He has knowledge that others don't, he has perspective, and he has the ability to help others that need him. Now, I'm not sure how he ended up so much different from everyone else, but I'm glad he was in the story. He kept everything rolling the way it was supposed to. Until the ending. Again, not mentioning it.

Well, I guess now is as good a time as any.... I hated the ending. Really and truly. I cannot believe what happened and I refuse to think it really ended that way. I know there's another book coming out next summer, but I want a whole redo of what happens in the end. Even just "Okay, I was wrong, let's not do that." That would suffice for me. Of course, I don't think the last five pages are going to keep me from recommending it.

I really will recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the amazing dystopian novels coming out these days. It fits perfectly into the genre and will add a new dimension. This story is based on there being a plague that takes over America and the chaos that happens afterward. It hits really close to home, I think... cause you never know. And it's interesting to think about them scavanging through people's houses. What would they find in yours?

Anyway, it's a good book and I really look forward to the sequel. If for nothing more than a reprieve from the ending in this first book. I know it has to get better. But definitely give this one a shot if you're a fan of dystopian fiction with a touch of romance :).
Other Blog Reviews:

Book Briefs
Spades High Reads
Smart Girls Read
The Norwegian Book Girl
The Reader Bee
Anna Reads
Moonlight Book Reviews
The Story Siren

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Title: Cleopatra's Moon
Author: Vicky Alvear Shecter
ISBN: 9780545221306
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Released: August 01, 2011
Page #: 355
Source: My public library

"Princess of Egypt
Cleopatra Selene is the only daughter of the brilliant Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and General Marcus Antonius of Rome. She's grown up with jewels on her arms, servants at her feet, and all the pleasures of a palace at her command, and she wants only to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a great and powerful queen.

Prisoner of Rome
Then the Roman ruler Octavianus, who has always wanted Egypt's wealth, launches a war that destroys all Selene has ever known. Taken to live in Octavianous's palace in Rome, she vows to defeat him and reclaim her kingdom at all costs. Yet even as she gathers support for her return, Selene finds herself torn between two young men and two different paths to power. Will love distract her from her goal - or help her achieve her true destiny?"
First Lines:

"'Get rid of that body now, or my men will mutiny!' the captain yelled from the other side of the door.
A stylus on the floor rolled with the movement of the ship. The flame from the hanging bronze lamp flickered. Still, I did not respond."
Page 1

I should have known this book was going to be super detailed when I saw the long character list at the beginning of the book. Yikes.

Well, this is the semi-historical account of Cleopatra Selene. Her family is destroyed by Rome - and one by one, she loses everyone she has ever cared about. Her parents, her country, her life, and even more. It's about her resilience and desire to continue her life as though nothing had happened. She spends all of her time in Roman captivity trying to figure out how to get back to her homeland and rule once more. On the way to searching for freedom, she finds herself torn between two guys - both in very different circumstance.

In all honesty, I had a really hard time getting into this book. After finishing it, I realize why we needed all the detail, but it sure starts out slow. There are lots of names, lots of faces, lots of instances to just show you later what she's lost. It doesn't seem to really flow very well. It jumps from year to year to show you important events and I got a little lost. I almost stopped reading before it got good.

It does get good. Once you are in "present time" as it were, you start to get into a flowing story that makes sense. They are captives in Rome and they start to figure out their new identities. It also picks up speed when the guys enter the picture - as love interests. Perhaps I just need that stuff for a good story, but it really helped me get into it.

At one point, I told my husband, "I don't like this book very much, but I really want to find out what happens." He smartly told me that it must be good in it's own way for me to care that much. He was right, I suppose. It's not a book to fall instantly in love with. It's a book to savor and realize the wonderfulness of it later.

I don't really know anything about the historical time that this book is written about. In fact, I know just about nothing. But I think this story does a good job of piquing my interest and showing me a new side of this ancient world.

One thing that bothered me in the beginning of the book was the emphasis on religion. Now, I do understand that Egyptians (and other ancient civilizations) were super involved in the lives of their gods and goddesses. But there's a whole sequence where Cleopatra Selene questions every other religion and dismisses them. Which is fine... but it's very abrupt and random-seeming. I do like to think about the Egyptian gods - praying to one specifically for one thing... and another for something else. It is just very interesting.

Okay, so I suppose it's time for me to let you know if I recommend it. And I'm not really sure. I think those that are really interested in Egyptian history will love it (assuming it's semi-historically accurate - and I cannot write to that). And maybe even people who want to know more about that time in history. I'm not sure the casual YA reader will find this one that enthralling. Interesting, maybe... but they'll have to give it a chance. Get past the first half of the book and see where you are. I think some others loved it more than I did... see below ;).

But for the record, I did enjoy the ending (as much as I could - there were other things not to like... story-wise). It left me feeling hopeful and wondering about what happened in their lives next. So, take that for what it's worth!
Other Blog Reviews:

Reading, Writing and Ruminating on Young Adult Books
IB Book Blogging
Fiction Folio
Book Drunkard
Library Lady
Supernatural Snark

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (78)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week...

Every Other Day
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
To be released: December 27, 2011

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"Appearing as a normal 16-year-old girl every other day while hiding her alternate identity as a demon-slayer who tracks and kills hellhounds and other supernatural monsters, Kali recognizes a demon mark on a popular girl in school and is challenged to save the girl on a day when she does not have her demon-slayer powers."

First of all, how pretty is this cover?! I really think this book sounds amazing - I cannot wait to get my hands on it. It really sounds like a unique story.

What are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Out This Week Nov 6-12

Some wonderful stuff coming out this week...

  • 11.8.11 Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie by S.J. Adams
  • 11.8.11 Faking Faith by Josie Bloss

  • 11.8.11 Don't Expect Magic by Kathy McCullough
  • 11.8.11 Finding Somewhere by Joseph Monninger

  • 11.8.11 Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien
  • 11.8.11 The Sharp Time by Mary O'Connell

  • 11.8.11 Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle #4) by Christopher Paolini
  • 11.7.11 The Daughters Join the Party (Daughters series) by Joanna Philbin

  • 11.8.11 Fetching by Kiera Stewart
  • 11.8.11 Kill You Last (Thrillogy) by Todd Strasser

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