Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me to Read

This is a Weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week: Books That Were Hard for Me to Read

1) Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Why: Have you tried to read that behemoth? Honestly, it wasn't even really that it was long. I don't even think the writing is all that difficult, nor is the book even that hard to understand (whale is a metaphor is a pretty easy thing to understand. Melville does kind of hit you over the head with it). It's just one that requires a lot of patience. Like TONS of patience. If you managed to get through this one and ENJOY getting through this one, then I salute you.

2) The Lord of the Rings series by J. R. R. Tolkien (or really anything Tolkien)
Why: Well for starters, I was handed The Hobbit in Middle School of all places. Because for some reason my Middle-school teacher totally thought that was a book that twelve year olds would totally get into. Spoiler: we didn't. Because as wonderful as this series is, it's more appropriate for older high school age. As a result, I thought this series was difficult and put off reading the trilogy until I was in college when the Jackson movies started up and reread The Hobbit and wound up falling in love. But even as I got into it, this is one that requires a lot patience because sometimes Tolkien wanders in his plots and you want him to just get the hell on with it.

3) The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Why: one word: cannibalism. I find it endlessly amusing that this is given to middle-schoolers and yet True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is the one parents get up in arms about. Not that they don't protest this one. They do. It's on the banned book list. But not quite to the extent that Part-Time Indian is nowadays. ;side-eyes parents and their priorities like whoa; And no, I'm not saying this one should be banned in place of that. No banning should happen ever. How about instead, you just don't read the book?

4) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Why: This was my first adult classic, read on my own, without teacher help (no, none of my teachers assigned Austin. Or any women writers really. sigh). Mostly it was just the period language that kept side-tracking me. I've reread it as an adult and have had a easier time. So it was probably because I tried it out in middle-school. Sometimes there are just books you need to wait to read until you're in high school.

5) Shakespeare
Why: Anyone who's read Shakespeare knows why.

6) Poems by Walt Whitman
Why: Given by my Grandmother who taught poetry/English in high school. I'll be honest: I just don't get poetry. I've tried. I really have. But poetry/verse writing is just not my thing.

7) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway
Why: Just couldn't get into it. Or any Hemmingway really. I get it. I get what Hemmingway is doing. I agree he writes beautifully. I just can't get into him.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review: Grasshopper Jungle

TITLE: Grasshopper Jungle
AUTHOR: Andrew Smith
PUBLISHED: February 2014
GENRE: Science Fiction, LGBT
PREMISE: In a small town the end of the world starts and a boy and his two friends are smack dab in the middle of it.
MY REVIEW: This is my first Andrew Smith book. So...it was an experience. His writing style is definitely unique. I honestly don't even know how to describe this book, that summary is vague on my part for a reason.
I'm going to say it up front: this one will probably not appeal to everyone. It's vulgar, Austin is a VERY horny teenage boy and thinks about sex ALL the time. I'm not sure how I feel about that honestly, because on one hand he is a teenage boy but on the other hand, it kind of falls into that stereotype of bisexual people just being extremely sexual (Austin is bi and is the center of a love triangle which makes for a nice change of pace). But on the other hand it is kind of refreshing having a YA book be upfront about the fact that teenagers think about sex and have sex. Kind of wish it didn't take up like eighty percent of the book though (yes, Austin is that horny). As for the plot of the book itself...that's another thing I suspect will turn off a lot of readers because it doesn't fit into the typical YA formula. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how open to it the readers are (you guys have to admit, we have our comfort zones and we're not fond when authors go out of that comfort zone).
So..,I don't know HOW to feel about this one. It's well written and definitely the most unique thing I've read this year. But when asked if I like it or not...well...

WHO SHOULD READ: Andrew Smith fans, open minded readers, patient readers
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five what even was this book looks

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What to Read Next: The Maze Runner

So you've burned through the entire Maze Runner Trilogy, you've seen the new movie. What next? Well, here are a few places to start (that are not Hunger Games or Divergent):

1) The Gone series by Michael Grant

Why: Haven't read this one (YET, I'll get to it...one of these days) but it features a group of kids living without adult supervision who are trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I'm sure Thomas and co. could relate.

2) The Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Why: Also features interesting dystopian world and group of teens trying to survive.

3) Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Why: Also features teen boys surviving together. Unfortunately it doesn't go as well as the Maze Runner. They didn't have a Thomas and Minho.

4) The Compound by S. A. Bodeen

Why: Has teen boy living in isolation with group for mysterious reasons.

5) Under the Dome by Stephan King

Why: Has group of people trapped in a town for mysterious reasons.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review: Midnight Riot

TITLE: Midnight Riot
Book 1 in the Peter Grant series
AUTHOR: Ben Aaronovitch
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
PREMISE: A police detective discovers there's a hidden magic world all around him and joins a group dedicated to keeping it under control.
MY REVIEW: This book was part of my reading through the library project and is exactly why I started this project in the first place. Despite all my wanderings in the UF section (you all know, you've seen the reviews) I'd never heard of this author/series until I found the series on the first shelf in the fiction section. So had I never started this, I would likely never have read this, which would be a shame because I loved it quite a bit.
The writing is hilarious for one. It has that dry wit that a majority of UK based authors seem to possess (will NEVER understand the stereotype of Brits being serious. Have you seen their shows on BBC?). The main character is likable and it's fun exploring this new world with him. The mystery is a bit average but with a good twist at the end.
This was a fun read. I'm definitely picking up the rest of the books. I'll spare you reviewing them one by one and do a full series review when I catch up to the most recent.
WHO SHOULD READ: Adult Harry Potter fans, Doctor Who fans (the author actually penned some classic Who episodes apparently), Urban Fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five sarcastic cops

Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: Dangerous Creatures

TITLE: Dangerous Creatures
Book 1 in new series (or Beautiful Creatures Book 5)
AUTHOR: Kami Garcia and Margeret Stohl
PUBLISHED: May 20th, 2014
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Witches
PREMISE: Link and Ridley head to New York City. It goes about as well as expected with those two.
MY REVIEW: I'll be honest, I was surprised and more than a little skeptic when I heard there was going to be a new Beautiful Creatures book. I was satisfied with the last BC book, and companion books....don't always turn out well (see Sinner, which was fine, just...not needed. At all.).
While I still don't think this was particularly necessary to write...it did win me over and make me want to read the rest so I guess mission accomplished. It helps that the writers were smart and didn't write about Ethan and Lena. Because their story was pretty much finished. This one focuses on Ridley and Link who actually were my two favorites in that series and are frankly far more interesting. It also gives us a peek at the magic world outside of Gaitlin and at the darker side of the magic world (aka, not the good Casters).
Is reading this absolutely necessary for fans of Beautiful Creatures? Not really. But if you want more of the world and are interested in the side characters more, I definitely say pick it up.
WHO SHOULD READ: Beautiful Creatures fans, Ridley/Link fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five lollipops

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review: Sister's Fate

TITLE: Sister's Fate
Book 3 in the Cahill Witch Chronicles
AUTHOR: Jessica Spotswood
PUBLISHED: August 14th, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fantasy, Witches
PREMISE: Cate's world unravels slowly around her bringing everything to a final confrontation with the Brotherhood.
MY REVIEW: It's not often I can say I've loved a trilogy all the way through. So I'm very happy when it does happen. Sister's Fate delivered and made me wish once again that this trilogy got more attention because it really is fantastic.
The plot proceeds right where it left off and the author doesn't waste your time trying to catch you up. I love when authors give their readers credit and assume they remember about character b or c. The twists keep coming, there's great commentary on sisterhood/feminism throughout. The sister dynamic remains extremely complicated and fascinating to watch unfold in ways I didn't expect.
Basically, I loved this one and still adore this criminally underrated trilogy. If you were a fan of the Gemma Doyle series, seriously check this one out.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fans of the first two books, Gemma Doyle fans
MY RATING: Four and a half out of Five witch rebellions
RATING FOR TRILOGY: Four and a half out of Five satisfied happy sighs

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List

This is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week: Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List:

1) The Young Elites Book 1 by Marie Lu

Released: October 7th

Why: Because I loved the Legend Trilogy all the way through. I'll pretty much read anything she writes now.

2) Darkest Minds Book 3: In the After Light by Alexandra Bracken

Released: October 28th, 2014

Why: Um...have you read the first two books? No? Well, go and do so now. All will be explained.

3) Talon Book 1: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Released: October 28th, 2014

Why: I'm always up for a Kagawa book. She always comes up with creative ideas and her books are never boring.

4) Bhinian Empire Book 2: Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster

Released: November 4rth, 2014

Why: City of a Thousand Dolls was one of the underrated books of 2013 as far as I'm concerned. It was a fabulously twisty fantasy mystery that didn't get much attention for some reason.

5) Finishing School Book 3: Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Released: November 1rst, 2014

Why: If you've never read this series or Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, I strongly suggest you do so, especially if you're a steampunk/historical fantasy fan.

6) Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Released: Today

Why: Oliver always has interesting ideas. I look forward to reading her adult debut.

7) The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

Released: November 4rth,2014

Why: Happy to see Carrie Ryan writing again (feels like forever since the last Forest of Hands and Teeth book...) and this one looks fab.

8) Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

Released: December 1rst, 2014

Why: I loved the Theatre Illuminata trilogy (another underrated series) and I can't wait to read something new by this author. The fact that it's steampunk is only better.

9) The Legion series Book 2: Unmarked by Kami Garcia

Released: September 30th, 2014

Why: Unbreakable was lots of fun. Can't wait to read the sequel.

10) Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Released: September 30th, 2014

Why: The Summer Prince was one of the most interesting reads last year. I'm excited to see what she comes up with next.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Book Review: The Rainaldi Quartet

TITLE: The Rainaldi Quartet
Book 1 in the Castiglioni and Guastafeste series
AUTHOR: Paul Adam
GENRE: Mystery/thriller
PREMISE: Two old friends investigate when a fellow musician friend is murdered.
MY REVIEW: Yes, this is another library project read. Yes, my library does have a lot of mysteries. No, I don't know why. It's a mystery ;pauses for effect;
This one is a pretty average thriller. Guy is murdered. A partner duo investigates. Murder is solved. There's not much to set it apart from most mysteries, to be honest. Although, if you're into classical music history, the info can be interesting.
Good library read only, I say.
WHO SHOULD READ: classical music history nerds, mystery fans
MY RATING: Three out of Five fake violins

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What To Read After If I Stay

Trying to get back to doing these again. I also have another feature that I'll possibly be starting in a month or so.

What to Read After If I Stay

1) Just One Day Duology by Gayle Forman
Why: Has cute romance much like the one in If I Stay and is again, by the same author.

2) Anna and the French Kiss Trilogy by Stephanie Perkins
Why: Again, cute romance with adorable characters. Not quite as sad as If I Stay, so a good pick me up for after the feels.

3) Between by Jessica Warman
Why: Also features a girl in the afterlife. But in this, she's trying to figure out what happened to her and why she died.

4) Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Why: Another one featuring a girl after she has died that studies her life and her choices.

5) The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Why: Also talks about grief while having a romance at the center of the plot. Haven't read this one myself, but I have had it recommended to me after saying I liked If I Stay.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review: Of Metal and Wishes

TITLE: Of Metal and Wishes
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Sarah Fine
PUBLISHED: August 5th, 2014
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: Wen makes a wish to the factory ghost after being humiliated and learns that time honored lesson of being careful of what you wish for.
MY REVIEW: This was....interesting. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. I did like it. But I also feel like the world wasn't really thought through. But I'm hoping that's because this was set in one place and that next book, we get traveling.
I also can't ignore that a large part of this plot was pretty much Phantom of the Opera, reworked a little. Maybe that was deliberate, I don't know. But it does make me a little less impressed with it then I want to be.
Honestly, this one's kind of a mixed bag. There's some definite good, but I feel like there's a lot that could have been worked on more. I'm just hoping that the potential I see is expanded upon in the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fantasy fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five stalker ghosts

Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Review: Midnight Thief

TITLE: Midnight Thief
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Livia Blackburne
PUBLISHED: July 8th, 2014
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A thief gets more then she bargained for when she joins an assassins guild.
MY REVIEW: The YA fantasy scene has been pretty awesome this summer. This is yet another highly entertaining and enjoyable fantasy that was just a delight to read.
I will say though, that the summary the publishers give...isn't really what's going on here. Because they try to make it sound like Kyra joins the guild because sexy guy in charge and oh...love triangle shenanigans. Now, I get why they would try to go with that angle. For all that YA readers whine and moan about love triangles, that is what sells. Whenever a book comes along that DOESN'T focus on romance...it's usually pretty much ignored unless book critics get a hold of it. So...I see why they would try to hint at a love triangle that's not really there. But I personally feel that does the book a disservice. Because this is a pretty awesome enough story that you don't need to focus on the romance factor in order to sell it (there is a romance factor...a teeny weeny one that doesn't come into play until the last couple of chapters).
So please, don't judge this book by its poor summary. It's much better then it sounds. The ending was a bit rushed, but overall, this was a very solid and entertaining debut. I can't wait to read the next one.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tamora Pierce fans, fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five thieves in the night

Book Review: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club

TITLE: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club
AUTHOR: Genevieve Valentine
PUBLISHED: June 3rd, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Retelling
PREMISE: Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses but set in the 1930s...
MY REVIEW: I think I first heard about this one through Entertainment Weekly of all places in one of their random short reviews (highly recommend browsing through their reviews daily. Occasionally, you'll find some gems). I'm so glad I gave it a shot, because I really liked this one.
Not that I'm surprised I did. I mean, retelling set in the 1930s? That pretty much guarantees that I'll read it. I will admit, the storytelling style may not be up everyone's alley. The author tends to jump around a LOT. But I did actually rather like the writing style. It suits fairy tales. You got a clear idea of what was going on, the setting was engrossing, and each of the sisters had a clear cut personality that made me root for them.
I didn't like this one as much as my favorite version of Twelve Dancing Princesses (Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George), but it was still a very enjoyable retelling. I look forward to reading more of this author, who apparently has a YA book in the works coming next year.
WHO SHOULD READ: Retelling fans, Once Upon a Time fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five dancing shoes

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book Review: The Girl With the Wind Up Heart

TITLE: The Girl With The Windup Heart
Book 4 in the Steampunk Chronicles
AUTHOR: Kady Cross
PUBLISHED: May 27th, 2014
GENRE: Steampunk
PREMISE: Finley goes to rescue Griffin when he is kidnapped....
MY REVIEW: My feelings for this series have honestly gone up and down. There's stuff I love about it. The girls kick butt, the guys are actually likable, and the adventure is great.
But...some of the commentary on female issues in it make me side eye the author something fierce. Like this one, there are so many times Jack is condescending to Mila that it's not funny. But worse is, it's excused away because she doesn't know any better and that's what the times are like. I just can't with that excuse. Because that's all it is, an excuse.
As an ending, this one honestly felt like an add on. But I give that it ended the series in a satisfactory way. I would recommend this to those have stuck with the series so far and just want more.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of the first three books
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five clocks
FOR SERIES: Three and a half out of Five

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review: The Winter People

TITLE: The Winter People
AUTHOR: Jennifer McMahon
PUBLISHED: February 11th, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fiction? Paranormal? Damned if I know
PREMISE: In a town with dark secrets, a diary may hold the key to stop history from repeating itself.
MY REVIEW: I...don't know what to make of this book, to be honest. To be fair to the author, that is entirely me. Sometimes a book is perfectly fine and it just doesn't mesh with the reader for whatever reason. I think that was what was happening here.
I liked the atmosphere of the novel. It's very American Gothic and creepy and I love that stuff. The switching timelines would occasionally confuse me though. I just honestly didn't really connect with this one. Like I said, I feel like that's entirely on me, not the author. It's just not my usual type of book and honestly Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor has been sitting on my shelf beckoning me. I'm not saying it's another book's fault that I couldn't get into get into this book...but it had a hand in it.
So, I don't think it's a bad book persay. It's just one of those books that didn't jive well with me. But I can see others getting into it. Like fans of Stephan King, or those who like creepy historical fiction books.
WHO SHOULD READ: Stephan King fans maybe?
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five creepy little girls (what is it with horror and children?)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Review: Gates of Thread and Stone

TITLE: Gates of Thread and Stone
Book 1 in the Gates of Thread and Stone series
AUTHOR: Lori M. Lee
PUBLISHED: April 5th, 2014
GENRE: Fantasy
PREMISE: A girl with the ability to bend time goes on an adventure when her brother disappears.
MY REVIEW: Has there been a lot of new YA fantasy books this year or is that just me? I am in no way complaining. Fantasy is my first love always. I'm all for some new blood in fantasy. Especially if it's books like this.
This one was just full of all sorts of things I love. Interesting world-building (some of it was a little wacky, but it never got out of control wacky, so we're good), complicated heroine, no forced love triangle, and plot twists at the end. I wanted a fun adventure when I picked it up, and it delivered.
This was a all around solid debut. True, the romance was a little blah as it usually is in these things, but it's tolerable at least. What makes this book is the plot twists, the enjoyable spunky main character, and the interesting world.
WHO SHOULD READ: Fantasy fans, Tamora Pierce fans,
MY RATING: Four out of Five time loops

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: Vivian Divine is Dead

TITLE: Vivian Divine is Dead
AUTHOR: Lauren Sabel
Book 1 in a series?
PUBLISHED: June 3rd, 2014
GENRE: Mystery
PREMISE: A starlets life is threatened and she goes on the run.
MY REVIEW: This was...interesting. Now, I don't at all think it's as bad as the reviews on Goodreads are making it out to be. But as I've said before, Goodreads reviews are to be taken with a grain of salt.
The mystery part of this is pretty solid. There are plot holes and slight plausibility issues. But...it's a thriller, most thrillers aren't exactly realistic. The main character is interesting, even if she has the tendency to whine a bit. But in her defense, she has lots of reason to whine. It's not like Bella Swan, her life really does stink at the moment. I can forgive character whining if there's reason. But there's some food for thought in it. For instance, it actually addresses privilege. That was nice to see. Most YA novels with rich main characters tend to ignore that whole issue (I'm looking at you PLL).
So...there are a few issues here. But for a debut, it's not that bad. Certainly not as bad as people are making it out to be. At the very least, it's worth a library check out.
WHO SHOULD READ: Mystery fans, PLL fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five starlets running scared

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top Ten Underrated YA Books

This is a weekly meme hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish .
This week was top ten underrated books in any genre. I'm going with YA even though I strongly feel that YA IS NOT a genre. It is a category like adult fiction or childrens fiction. However, there are so many underrated YA books out there, that I feel like I can't pay homage to any one genre, so I'm just doing YA as a topic. So, here are (some) of my top ten underrated YA books.

1) The American Fairy Trilogy by Sarah Zettel-awesome historical fantasy in the 1930s with a biracial main character who discovers she's half fairy and goes on an adventure when her mother is kidnapped.

2) Arkwell Academy series/Avalon by Mindee Arnett-Arnett burst onto the YA scene last year and I don't know why people aren't talking about her stuff more. Arkwell is fun solid series with a sassy heroine, and Avalon was a great sci-fi adventure that went against much of the YA norm. I'm super excited about this author.

3) The Dark Star series by Bethany Frennette-Why there aren't more YA series out there about superheroes, I will never know.

4) Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce-Most people know about the Tortall series (and if you don't, you should totally check it out), but I feel CoM doesn't get that much attention. Which is a shame because I personally love this series more then the Tortall series (just a wee bit mind you, I have a deep love for Alanna and co.)

5) Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep-Such a fun series about a girl who goes to a magic school. Think Percy Jackson with a dash of Veronica Mars by way of Harry Potter.

6) Something Strange and Deadly Trilogy by Susan Dennard-I'll be the first to admit, zombie books? Not my thingl. But this steampunk is so much more then zombies. It's a solid character journey that's entertaining and never boring in all three books.

7) The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane-This is a old school series that got started back during the we-must-write-stuff-like-Harry Potter phase that publishers went through in the nineties (I'm not dissing that phase, FYI. That phase gave us Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl after all). It never got the recognition it deserves, I think.

8) Anything Meg Cabot-Cabot has been around for YEARS, giving us delightful book after book. Yet, you hardly hear anything about her stuff. Which is puzzling to me. Really, you should read all of it, but especially Princess Diaries, the Mediator series, and the 1-800-WHERE-R-U series.

9) The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi-This is the book that got me into historical fiction. Awesome book about a girl who becomes a sailor under a horrible captain.

10) Knight and Rogue series by Hilari Bell-hilarious fantasy adventure romp about a rich guy who decides he's going to be a knight, despite the fact that there aren't really knights anymore. Good buddy comedy. Also check out Bell's other really underrated books like Goblin Wood.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review: Strange and Ever After

TITLE: Strange and Ever After
Book 3 in the Something Strange and Deadly Trilogy
AUTHOR: Susan Dennard
PUBLISHED: July 22nd, 2014
GENRE: Steampunk, Zombies
PREMISE: Eleanor, Daniel and co. face off one last time against Marcus...
MY REVIEW: It's not often that I can honestly say I enjoyed a trilogy the whole way through. Either the second book was slow, or the ending was predictable as all get out. But this trilogy, I honestly can say, I've loved the whole ride. In fact, I think it's one of the few that got better as it went along.
One of the main reasons for that is, that it doesn't try to fill in time by focusing on too many characters at once or giving a boring love triangle when one isn't needed. Those two things are pretty much the downfall of most YA series. This series focuses on Eleanor and her character journey. That's it. It makes for a very satisfying read because you get to see her grow and become stronger and more settled into herself. Yes, along the way, she gets a love interest. But it's pretty incidental and not the whole damn point of the story. Also...there's a twist with Daniel that I honestly didn't see coming and was pleasantly surprised by. It was sad, but it was nice to see a YA trilogy be realistic about things for a change.
This is one of my personal favorite underrated books. I highly recommend the whole trilogy, especially if you're into the historical fantasy scene. I seriously can't wait for whatever Dennard has in store for us next. Word on the street is, she already has a new series coming out next year. Bring it on, is all I can say.
WHO SHOULD READ: fans of the first two books, Dearly Departed fans, zombie fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five satisfying endings
RATING FOR TRILOGY: Four and a half out of Five really good trilogy

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Book Review: Sinner

TITLE: Sinner
Book 4 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series
AUTHOR: Maggie Stiefvater
PUBLISHED: July 1rst, 2014
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
PREMISE: Isabel and Cole continue their messy romance in LA.
MY REVIEW: I have...mixed feelings about this one. For one, remember how this series used to be about werewolves? It pretty much isn't anymore. It's strictly romance and I'm sorry, but I pick up werewolf books expecting the werewolf factor to be a relevant thing. Here, it's just a thing that Cole has that maybe is a bit of an inconvenience, but otherwise it's completely ignored.
But if you're picking this up for the romance factor, you're golden. It's all about Isabel and Cole and their messed up relationship where I kind of wish Isabel would tell Cole where to go with his self pity act. But I guess I'm just not a romantic that way. If you are a romantic, this book will please you. If you were hoping for character development or some major reveal...this book will be very dull for you like it was for me.
So I'm torn. On one hand, Steifvater clearly did this for Cole/Isabel fans. For sure, those fans will probably be very pleased with it. It ends happily. But...it's not exactly a ground-breaking book or even one that was entirely necessary. It honestly felt like a bit of an afterthought book to me that could have been done in one of those fifty/one-hundred page novellas that authors do so much of nowadays. I honestly think, it should have been a novella. But that's just me. So...this book isn't really a must read to me. If you're a die-hard Mercy Falls fan, go for it. Otherwise...don't bother.
WHO SHOULD READ: Wolves of Mercy Falls fans (who really liked Isabel and Cole)
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five indifferent feels

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: Dark Metropolis

TITLE: Dark Metropolis
Dark Metropolis Book 1
AUTHOR: Jaclyn Dolamore
PUBLISHED: June 17th, 2014
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
PREMISE: In a 1930s full of magic, Thea's friend disappears and she is drawn into a dangerous plot...
MY REVIEW: I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I really like Dolamore's stuff. This is an author with imagination when it comes to ideas. Romance wise...she's not always the best. But world-building, plot wise? Sign me the hell up. What's even better is all her books are different. Granted, this one did remind me a lot of the first Magic Under Glass book.
But it still developed into something different that I wasn't expecting. I love this 1930s magic world. It's vivid and creative. I could picture everything easily. Like most of her books, Dolamore's characters aren't black and white either. They aren't the best people in the world. In some cases, they're blind to the world around them (like Freddie) and sometimes they're selfish. They're flawed characters and interesting.
I will say, the ending was a bit rushed. But it led up to a satisfying lead in to the next book. I really wish more people would give Dolamore a chance. Oh well. I'll just be over here, fangirling by myself.
WHO SHOULD READ: Dolamore fans, Historical fantasy fans
MY RATING: Four out of Five art deco restaurants

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Looking Ahead: September 2014

Here's a round-up of September Releases that look kind of awesome and that you can probably expect reviews for at some point:

Released today:
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Category: Adult Fiction
Genre: Science Fiction?
Why: Everyone and their mother has been raving about this book on the review front. EW gave it an A, Book Riot is nuts about it, and it's basically THE release this week. The idea certainly sounds cool. I admit, I've never read David Mitchell before ;ducks; This may be my first try.

The Worldwaker Trilogy Book 1: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Category: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Why: Despite its many faults, I rather enjoyed the Starcrossed trilogy. This trilogy looks just as interesting and entertaining.

Released September 9th:

Magisterium Book 1: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Category: Middle-Grade/YA
Genre: Fantasy
Why: It's Holly Black. While I am not as enthusiastic about Clare, it is nice to see her doing something other then Mortal Instruments. Plus, it just looks fun and right up my alley.

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Category: YA
Genre: Fantasy
Why: I'm always up for a White book. Her books are so imaginative and different from the other. Plus, hello gorgeous cover.

Released September 16th:

The 5th Wave Book 2: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Category: YA
Genre: Science-Fiction/Dystopian
Why: 5th Wave was one of the awesome ones last year. Can't wait to read the sequel.

Released September 23rd:

Lynburn Legacy Book 3: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Category: YA
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Witches
Why: Because I love this series with every fiber of my being. This is one of my personal anticipated titles of the year. I'll be buying it as soon as I can find a copy.

There are a bunch of others coming this month that sound awesome (like Alaya Dawn Johnson's new book, out on the 30th), but these books in particular are the ones that have caught my attention and that I'll be trying my best to read.

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who'd Be Sitting at My Lunch Table

I haven't done one of these in awhile...Opps.

Top Ten Characters Who'd Be Sitting at My Lunch Table

Well...in high school, I was always the one who read during lunch. Usually, I found some fellow book nerds and we would all either read together (our table was quietest!) or be discussing the latest hot book. So, my table would likely be filled with the bookish-introvert type characters with tendency for snark.

1) Tina Hakim-Baba from Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

2) Hermione Granger from Harry Potter

3) Tris from the Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce (can also see Daja joining)

4) Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter

5) Frodo (or Bilbo) Baggins from Hobbit/Lord of the Rings

6) Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice (Darcy would probably periodically join, as he is an awkward duck as well)

7) Kel from the Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce

8) Tiffany Aching from The Wee Free Men/Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

9) Peeta Mallark from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Katniss would also periodically join, but she'd probably be really quiet and appreciate that we let her be quiet)

10) Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green