Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Review: Illusive

TITLE: Illusive
Book 1 in the Illusive series
AUTHOR: Emily Lloyd-Jones
PUBLISHED: July 15th, 2014
GENRE: Dystopian
PREMISE: In the future, a girl with powers is a thief who gets caught up in a plot that's much larger then she realized...
MY REVIEW: Fair warning: I loved the hell out of this. So...this review is biased on my part. Literally the only thing I can think of to say about it, is that originality wise, it reminds me of a lot of other things. I got Darkest Minds/Oceans Eleven/X-Men/Heist Society vibes through out it. But even with all of that, it still managed to be entertaining as hell and kept me interested.
The writing is nice and simple with great dialogue. There's interesting character dynamics all over the place. Then there's the interesting dystopian world that actually kind of makes sense! Yes, people getting powers from medicine, would probably never happen. But the author roles with it in a way that's rather believable and interesting (and does the smart thing by not trying to use faulty science to explain how it's totally possible).
The result is a fun and entertaining debut with a ending that is satisfying but also makes me want more. This looks like it's going to be a fun series. I'm seriously scratching my head about why more people aren't talking about it. It's perfect for those of us who are missing Gallagher Girls/Heist Society (seriously, Carter MORE BOOKS, where are you?).
WHO SHOULD READ: Heist Society fans, Ocean's Eleven fans, X-Men fans, Darkest Minds fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five Hello Kitty bobble-heads (read it, it'll make sense later)

Book Review: Idols

TITLE: Idols
Book 2 in the Icons series
AUTHOR: Margaret Stohl
PUBLISHED: July 8th, 2014
GENRE: Dystopian/Sci-Fi
PREMISE: The Icon children continue their journey...
MY REVIEW: I was sort of hoping the sequel would clear up some confusion I had about the first book. didn't.
Also, it continued with the unnecessary love triangle. Sigh. Granted, the ending made for quite the cliffhanger, so it wasn't a total wash. But ultimately, this was a very slow and confusing sequel.
I think I'm going to have to give up on this one. I just can't get into it for some reason. It's one of those kinds of books that's either going to appeal to you or not appeal to you, and this one...doesn't appeal to me. Which is strange, considering how much I loved Beautiful Creatures. Considering I love Kami Garcia's solo series, Unbreakable, I'm starting to wonder if my love of the series had more to do with her then with Stohl. Because reading these author's solo acts has sort of given me an idea of which author was responsible for what in that series.
WHO SHOULD READ: Beautiful Creatures fans (who were more into the romance), fans of the first book
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five confusing book is confusing

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Review: The End of Everything

TITLE: The End of Everything
AUTHOR: Megan Abbott
GENRE: Mystery, Drama
PREMISE: A girl's best friend disappears and never comes back.
MY REVIEW: I don't have much to say about this one. It was a random pick up library read. I wouldn't have picked it up if I wasn't doing my current library read through project. By the way, I've edited my method slightly. I'm still going to try and read as much of the fiction section as I can, but only ones I'm actually mildly interested in. It's just that the past month has been tedious for me and filled with lots of books I did not finish and I don't think it's accomplishing anything for me other then frustrating me, because I dislike leaving books unfinished. So, I'll still be going through the shelves, one by one. I'll just be a little more picky and only pick up the ones that actually look like something I'd enjoy (and that I haven't read).
As for the was okay. It wasn't my cup of tea. But if you're one of those family drama lovers who liked things like Gone Girl or Lovely Bones, then this may appeal to you.
WHO SHOULD READ: Gone Girl fans, Lovely Bones fans, family drama fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five shrugs

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Review: The Fire Wish

TITLE: The Fire Wish
Book 1 in The Jinni Wars
AUTHOR: Amber Lough
PUBLISHED: July 22nd, 2014
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A girl captures a jinni and makes a wish which causes her and the jinni to switch places.
MY REVIEW: So far, I've had good luck with some of the new YA fantasies this year. This is just one of the latest. It's creative and just outright entertaining.
I will give, the romance...not the greatest. It's tolerable, but it's also insta-love. But the author is thankfully not emphasizing the romance much. More of its focus is on the politics/world building as it should be. Because that's where the interesting stuff is. I love how creative the author is with this world, but it's never the out of control creative. It actually makes sense.
So ignore the flawed romance, instead focus on the interesting world, the good entertaining plot, and good female characters. I for one, can't wait for the sequel.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of Aladdin, those looking for diversity in their fantasy, fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five magic lamps

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Review: Otherbound

TITLE: Otherbound
AUTHOR: Corinne Duyvis
PUBLISHED: June 17th, 2014
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A boy gets drawn into another world whenever he closes his eyes...
MY REVIEW: I think this is more then likely one of my top ten books of the year. Please keep in mind, I haven't gotten around to Gods and Monsters or Dangerous Creatures yet (I need to finish Dance of Dragons and many others first, my TBR pile is kind of sad right now...). But it is a good bet that this is going to be ONE of my favorite debuts of the year. I'm hard pressed to find anything I didn't like about it. Like, the only thing I can think of that would be a problem is that it's rather dark, so if that's not your thing, then you probably won't get into it.
It was well written. It has complex characters. It not only has diversity in abundance, but it has characters with disabilities AND LGBT representation. It has a entertaining fast-paced plot that unlike Dangerous, never gets confusing. I was able to follow it and it was creative! Usually in a YA book, I can find something similar to something else but with this one...I couldn't do that. Other then if you love fantasy with diversity then this is so your book.
Frankly, this book was made of awesome. It doesn't LOOK like there's going to be a sequel which makes me sad. But the book is so satisfying in the ending that it honestly doesn't need a sequel. However, if the author decided to do one in the future, I wouldn't complain about it. I hope this author sticks around. If this is her debut, then we're in for some good stuff in the future.
WHO SHOULD READ: fantasy fans, anyone inclined to pick it up, people who don't mind dark fantasy books
MY RATING: Five out of Five book squees

Book Review: The Vanishing Season

TITLE: The Vanishing Season
AUTHOR: Jodi Lynn Anderson
PUBLISHED: July 1rst, 2014
GENRE: Mystery
PREMISE: A girl moves to a town just as girls are being kidnapped...
MY REVIEW: First off, I'll start with the obvious: it wasn't as good as Tiger Lily. I hate to say that. wasn't. However, that doesn't mean it wasn't good AT ALL. There is still some very good stuff going on here. I just didn't love it as much as I loved Tiger Lily.
It's still as absorbing as Tiger Lily was. It still has those complicated dynamics and characters that I've come to associate with Anderson's work. The ending was also a honest surprise. So kudos for that. Was a good surprise? Well...that's up in the air and will probably depend on the reader's feelings. I didn't particularly care for it, but I have to say the author was good at leading up to it and shocking you with it.
So...not as good as Tiger Lily. But still a very absorbing and interesting read. It's also perfect for summer because of the setting.
WHO SHOULD READ: Jodi Lynn Anderson fans, fans of slow build-up mysteries
MY RATING: Four out of Five muggy summer days

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: Hexed

TITLE: Hexed
Book 1 in the new Hexed series
AUTHOR: Michelle Krys
PUBLISHED: June 10th, 2014
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Witches
PREMISE: Indigo learns that she is a witch and that people are hunting her...
MY REVIEW: I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I love witches. Witches and ghosts are my two top supernatural kind of creatures. But witches especially so I will read pretty much anything that is about witches. Hence why I picked this book up in the first place.
I won't lie, most of it is the usual urban fantasy YA stuff. There's a girl who discovers she's unusual. It's due to family history. Mean popular girl and so on. So, groundbreaking, this is not. But it is pretty darn fun. Mostly due to Paige and Bishop, the two best characters in the whole thing. I warmed up to Indigo after awhile, but I still didn't love her nearly as much as I loved Paige.
In short, this was basically a fun romp with witches. If that's your thing, I wholeheartedly suggest you pick it up.
WHO SHOULD READ: Mortal Instrument fans, Hex Hall fans, witch fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five
A Net Galley was provided for me by the publisher in exchange for a review. I'm sorry it took me awhile to get to this guys, I'm a wee bit behind on books right now.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Review: The Forever Song

TITLE: The Forever Song
Book 3 in the Blood of Eden Trilogy
AUTHOR: Julie Kagawa
PUBLISHED: April 15th, 2014
GENRE: Dystopian, Vampires
PREMISE: Allison travels with Jackel and Kanin to take down Sarren forever...
MY REVIEW: If I ever want books that are great entertainment without making me feel like I'm losing IQ points, I pick up Kagawa. Her stuff is what I call smart pop culture. It's self aware and plays on that. The result is entertainment that is just plain fun and yet has some bite to it (yeah, I went there).
Blood of Eden is a perfect example. It plays on the Walking Dead scenario but with vampires. The result is a refreshing dystopian that doesn't feel old. True, several things here happened like I thought they would. But the journey is fun enough that I don't mind.
Maybe not the most mentally challenging read in the universe, but the Blood of Eden is definitely a solid series that flows well and is great ride all the way through. Can't wait to see what Kagawa comes up with next.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of the first two books, Walking Dead fans, Vampire fans
MY RATING: Four out of FIve vampires kicking butt.
RATING FOR TRILOGY: Four out of Five

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Review: Deception's Princess

TITLE: Deception's Princess
Book 1 in the Maeve duet/Book 7 in the Princesses of Myth series
AUTHOR: Esther Friesner
PUBLISHED: April 22nd, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fiction
PREMISE: Maeve, a Scottish princess, tries to survive life in court under a protective father.
MY REVIEW: First, I want to talk about all the "it's like Brave!" whines I've heard about this book. Okay, yeah, I see similarities. However, did you stop to think about the fact that maybe this tale that Friesner is writing about is what inspired Brave in the first place? Also, yes, Maeve has the red hair/green dress/scottish accent/doesn't want to be forced to be married. But that's where the similarities pretty much end. Her mother doesn't get turned into a bear. There's no evil witch. It's very much a character study like most of these princess of myth books are. I really wish people would stop accusing every story of being a rip-off the minute it has a one or two minor similarities to something else. It's annoying people. Stop it.
Now as for the book itself...this is probably my least favorite of the princess of myth books. I still liked it, don't get me wrong. I love these books to death because of the brilliant way Friesner blends history and myth and absorbs you into the setting. So even though I found this one...lackluster, it was still good. But again, I say this as someone who adores these books so my review is rather biased.
So this not the best of the princess books. But if you've been a long-time reader of this series (can you believe it's been over five years?!), I would still pick it up.
WHO SHOULD READ: Princesses of Myth series fans, historical fiction fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five fiesty redheads

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Review: Bury Me Deep

TITLE: Bury Me Deep
AUTHOR: Megan Abbott
GENRE: Mystery, True Crime, Historical Fiction
PREMISE: True crime story about a woman who kills two of her friends during an argument and buries them in trunks.
MY REVIEW: So...I don't really read true crime fiction. I just find little interest in reading about a crime that has already been solved and that I know the ending of thanks to tabloids/news. But as I've mentioned, I'm doing the reading through the library project and this was one of the books my library had so here we are.
I'm not sure how to review this to be honest. As I've said I don't read true crime fiction, so I don't really have any ideas about what makes a true crime book actually good. I can only tell you how I felt about the book which was okay. The writing was decent, I got what was going on. The story was interesting and the research the author did was obvious.
I just didn't feel much for it. But apparently this has won all sorts of awards so critics think this is a good true crime novel. I'd listen to them before listening to me. They probably actually know the genre way better.
WHO SHOULD READ: True Crime fans, historical mystery fans?
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five trunks with surprises in them (not the fun kind of surprises though)