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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

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