Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Halflings by Heather Burch


3/5 Stars

Review:
            Halflings by Heather Burch jumps right into the action of the story. Our heroine Nicki is being chased through the forest by Hell Hounds and after putting up a decent fight she is losing. Then in swoops our hunky hero’s Raven, Mace, and Vine who are halflings men who are half angel, half man. And the action does not let up until the book is finished!
            The downside to this book is while there is a ton of action I didn’t really feel like anything happened. It is clear this book will be the first in the series and that its purpose was to get to know the characters. While there was a ton of things going on nothing furthered the big storyline about what was going on with Omega Corporation. That really bummed me out!
            Halflings also has a love triangle that I wasn’t thrilled with. For most of the book I didn’t even really think it was a love triangle! I thought that Nicki had no interest in Raven, it wasn’t until the end of the book that she really admitted to having any feelings for him. To me it was obvious she wanted to be with Mace, but knew it would was not worth the cost. Overall I really didn’t like the “love” in this book, I wasn’t particularly interested in either of the guys and when I finally started liking someone it never went anywhere.
            I was intrigued by all of the supporting characters in this book and that made up for the love triangle mess. Will, the Angel who takes care of the Halflings, was a nice father figure. I also really liked the relationship Nicki has with her parents, all too often in YA the heroines are from unhappy homes. It was nice to see a heroine who got along with her folks and had a semi trusting relationship with them. I also despite my better instinct liked the maybe “bad” guy Damon Vessler he was smooth, rich, and I could not figure out his motives which made me even more interested! I was really disappointed though when half way through the book Nicki’s “Best Friend” totally dropped off the radar and wasn’t brought up again, it felt like suddenly Nicki’s world revolved around the Halflings and she forgot school and bestie. I hope that Burch does a better job of incorporating her friend into the storyline in the sequel.
            The storyline was very original and the writing was nice, albeit a little jumpy at times. In all honesty I did enjoy Halflings and will probably pick up the sequel but there were too many problems for me to give it any more then 3 stars. I look forward to seeing where Heather Burch goes with the sequel and what happens with Omega Corp and the Halflings!

Thank you Netgalley.com and Zondervan publishers for allowing me to review an ARC copy of Halflings

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick



4/5 Stars


Review:

Silence is the third book in the Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick. Silence picks up where Crescendo leaves off. Nora has been kidnapped by the Black Hand and has been missing for 11 weeks. She wakes up on a gravesite with no memory whatsoever.

I felt that this book was much better than Crescendo, which left a bad taste in my mouth. Even with Patch trying to explain that he was only hanging with Marcie because he was her guardian angel I was left disliking Patch which hurt because I like him so much! In Silence we see how much he loves Nora and he redeems himself in my eyes.

I really liked the relationship between Nora and Patch in Silence. There wasn’t so much of the lusty “ooohhh I can’t live with you!!” that is very popular in YA. In this one Nora seems more grown up about her relationship and for once I can tell how much Patch cares for her.

The one big thing that I disliked about Silence was that for a good half of the book Nora had no memory at all. The Black Hand had erased everything. Nora had no memory of the kidnapping, nephilim, or even Patch! It was horrific and I felt that Fitzpatrick only did this to repeat everything she had said in Hush Hush and Crescendo and stretch the series into 4 books. I was really disappointed in this point. This series has such an interesting idea and storyline that Nora losing her memory actually took away from the story not added to it.

Overall I really did enjoy Silence and would definitely encourage anyone who has read the other two books in the Hush Hush series to pick it up. As an added bonus there is a short story at the end (at least there was in the e-book) about Patch’s first meeting with Nora from Patch’s perspective which was really fun!


Blogs First Giveaway! Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

You can read my review HERE



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Epic Reads Epic Deals


Epic Reads is having an amazing deal 10 of their YA e-books are on sale all for 99 cents! 

I bought Entwined, Bumped, and The Poison Diaries for my nook and I can already say it is the best $3 bucks I've spent all year. 

If you are interested in picking up Hereafter by Tara Hudson you can read my review HERE

And although I don't have a review for it I highly recommend Unearthly by Cynthia Hand it is a fun angel story with an interesting twist! The sequel Hallowed comes out January 17th and I could not be more excited!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Remembrance by Michelle Madow


3/5 Stars

Review:

Remembrance by Michelle Madow was a quick sweet read. The story line revolves around Elizabeth and a mysterious boy Drew who shared a past life together, and there struggle to have a relationship. The story is based on Taylor Swift's song and music video "Love story".

I thought the concept of Remembrance was different, and I really enjoyed the premise of past lives and reincarnation. After reading so much supernatural lately it was a nice change of pace to not have the romantic interest be a vampire, werewolf, or fey for once.

I also really enjoyed all the Jane Austen references and parallels. Austen is one of my favorite authors so it was fun to see a modern day re-telling of her famous work, Pride and Prejudice. Although I was a little upset that Madow insisted on pointing out these parallels to readers, I mean, we know that there is a parallel no need to say so repeatedly. This type of thing detracted from the reading.

My other criticism is that Remembrance was a little slow for my tastes. At many points I could tell the author is young, the High School scenes were very realistic and it made me think back to a few years ago when I was still at that point in my life. It also reminded me how boring and monotonous high school can be. I found myself wishing Madow had skipped over entire days the characters were at school just because I'm not interested in Elizabeth, Drew, or Chelsea's daily life. If you are going to write a book about a reincarnation love that spans time make the book about that not about the daily life of high schoolers.

All in all Remembrance was a cute story, and a nice book chaser after I had finished Clockwork Prince. I'm not sure if I will pick up the sequel right away but if there is another .99 cent e-book deal it will be hard to turn down reading Vengeance.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:
I loved loved loved this book no joke! When I say 5 stars I really mean it. The relationship between Tessa and Will, Will and Jem, and Jem and Tessa was the first love triangle that I have not gagged and rolled my eyes at. Cassie Clare really outdid herself with this one! I am not joking when I say that this is her best book yet and that I love Infernal Devices more then The Mortal Instruments.

Clockwork Prince begins where Clockwork Angel left off, the clave no closer to finding Mortmain then when they found out about Nate’s betrayal and De Quincy was killed. The story focuses on finding Mortmain and learning more about his extensive web of clockwork creatures, and people doing his bidding.

Let me just start off my saying I LOVE JEM. There is pretty much nothing else that needs to be said. I enjoy reading about his struggles with his disease, how he is coming to terms with the fact that his addiction is killing him slowly. It is so real and powerful that I just want to jump through the pages and hug him! I’m excited that we get to see a different side of Jem in Clockwork Prince to, the side that actually takes what he wants, gets upset, and gets excited. Don’t get me wrong I like that Jem is a perfect gentlemen but occasionally I like to see a little rougher around the edges ^.~

Will in this book also make a drastic change from the person we knew. He is still the same snarky shadowhunter but we find out why he has been pushing everyone away. Why he is purposefully mean to everyone who tries to care about him and more importantly why he said the things he did to Tessa on the roof at the end of Clockwork Angel. In the first book I must admit, I hated Will. He got on my nerves, was a jerk, and I had no idea why anyone in there right mind would like a person like that. In Clockwork Prince I really began to like Will Herondale and my heart broke for him, there may have even been a small tear (I will not admit to any more then that!).

Now on to our other Clockwork Prince stars, Magnus is all his amazing magical glory makes enough appearances to keep me happy but not enough to leave me satisfied. To be fair the entire book could be only about Magnus and I would still not be satisfied! We get to see a little bit of Camille, Ragnor Fell, and a few new characters.

I must say this book left a lot of unanswered questions. I still want to know what Tessa is, what Mortmain is up to, what is going on with all those clockwork devices, and a whole host of other spoiler-y questions which I will leave to myself!

Oh by the way did I mention...TEAM JEM!! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa


3/5 Stars

Review:
I really thought I would enjoy this book more then The Iron King. I tend to like sequels better just because I know the characters and feel like I have a vested interest in what happens to them. Unfortunately, while I enjoyed this book I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as The Iron King.

In this book I really expected Meghan to kick ass, take names, and become more independent. After all she defeated The Iron King, Machina, in the last book! Instead Meghan seemed to go backward instead of forward. She was whiney and continuously pining over Ash. Meghan at certain parts actually got on my nerves! And that says something because I liked her so much in the first book.

Now for some spoilers:

In The Iron Daughter Ash basically breaks things off with Meghan. Although it is clear he still has feelings for her Ash does what he believes is right for both of them and tells Meghan “No”. I feel like this girl has never heard those words in her life! She keeps putting Ash into situations that force them together instead of respecting his wishes. I guess this bothered me because it seemed unrealistic. In the real world if the guy tells you its over, then it is time for a good girl cry, maybe some friend bonding, and then some stolen looks across the room until the boy realizes he is being an idiot.

I found myself actually disliking Ash in The Iron Daughter because of how much Meghan talked about him, thought about him, and threw herself at him. All of this Ash attention had me liking Puck more and more. Puck was a good friend to Meghan throughout this whole adventure. He gave Meghan space when she wanted it, ignored her wishes when he thought it was her best interest, and was overall just a great guy! I found myself constantly wishing Meghan would get over Ash and give Puck a real chance.

My favorite thing about this book was Iron Horse. I loved the change in his character from enemy to friend. His devotion to Meghan and the sacrifice’s he was willing to make for her. Iron Horse actually made the book for me. With all the boy drama going on it was so nice to see a genuine character with no ulterior motives who was willing to give everything for the cause.

-Spoilers ended-

Overall I did enjoy The Iron Daughter and I will be picking up The Iron Queen. I was just disappointed with Meghan and hope that she does some growing up between books 2 and 3! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


4/5 Stars


Review:

I feel like I'm late for a party and I'm upset that I missed the first half, but I am determined to make the second half count! 

I regret not picking this book up earlier. I had heard such wonderful things about it, but I kept passing it up at the store. It was not until an e-book basically fell into my lap that I started it.

First off I have to say that I don't particularly like "Fae" this is one of the first Fae stories I have read. Usually I roll my eyes when a book mentions a Faery and stick it right back on the shelf but I am now a converted girl and the next Faery story I will not be glossing over!

The Iron King centers around Meghan Chase at first glance normal girl who is anything but. Meghan is really the illegitimate daughter of the Summer Court's King Oberon. And Meghan has been forced into the Never Never to find her younger half brother. Meghan's journey morphs into so much more then just finding her brother. She makes deals she probably shouldn't have made, meets a cunning cat, and falls for the Winter Prince Ash.

Now on to confession time, I defiantly liked Ash but I'm not completely sold on him. I'm not positive that he liked Meghan or that he is over the other girl that was once in his life. I'm not sure if his loyalties still lie with his Mother, the Winter Queen, or if he really has changed and he loves Meghan. Either way every time he entered the story my heart skipped a beat so we are on the right track to YA crush material. Hopefully in the next book we get a little more Ash action =)

Needless to say I really enjoyed this book and have already started The Iron Daughter. I have high hopes that it will be just as good as The Iron King!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto



3/5 Stars


Review:
This book was actually a little hard for me to get through. Not because I was not enjoying it, but because it was fairly slow going. Halo read much like a description based adult novel. I read YA because I like a strong driving plot that has a good deal of action. As much as I enjoy seeing character's relationships develop there needs to be a little something more too keep my attention.

That being said the relationship between Bethany and Xavier was very cute and sweet. There was not crazy lust that so often happens in YA or an instant attraction that neither character can explain. The love happens slowly and is built on trust and mutual caring and understanding. It was a relationship that for me was a little too perfect.

I felt like Xavier and Bethany never had any problems and thus there was no action. I wasn't even really enjoying the book until Jake came into the story and he isn't introduced until over half way through! If the entire book had been about Bad Boy Jake then I probably would have given Halo at least another star!

All things considered I did enjoy the last quarter of the book but it will take some really great reviews or a reasonable price for me to pick the the sequel Hades. This cover is looking like a very good start though! Could that be Jake!?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Name, New Design!

So after much deliberation and harassment from my boyfriend I decided to change the blogs name! We both thought Emi's Book Blog sounded a little too young, and was lacking in the bam! factor. So we are now Falling for YA! I think it better describes the blog and fits the new theme which is based on the cover of Shiver by Maggie Steifvater. 

I hope you and enjoy and any comments/critiques are much appreciated =D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all of you are having an amazing Thanksgiving and are spending it with the ones you love! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Generation Dead: Stitches


So I am a pretty big fan of the Generation Dead series by Daniel Waters. What can I say I'm a sucker for an allegory of our countries racial tensions via one of my favorite mediums, Zombie.

Color me surprised (no pun intended) to hear that Waters is releasing a Kindle e-book short story on December 20th which involves all of our undead friends!

Synopsis: Get ready for four new short stories in the GENERATION DEAD saga available together exclusively as an eBook. Life is far from over for your favorite zombie teens: In How's Life, Purpose Statement, Doll Parts, and My Dead Heart the undead intrigue is at a heart racing high and Dan Waters' writing is at its finest. Full of unexpected twists, eerie romance, and enough gothic gore to make your blood run cold, these are stories you won't want to miss.  

Needless to say I am getting really excited for this one and my e-book reader can not seem to get to my door fast enough!





Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games Official Movie Trailer!

OMG I am freaking out right now! The trailer is finally out and officially amazing. It features a portion of the scene where Prim is reaped and Katniss volunteers, we get to see Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, and what the capitol will look like. The Head Gamemakers defiantly did not let us down on this one. So what are you waiting for!? Start watching:


Friday, November 11, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Movie

Ok so it is not YA News but the English version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie hits theaters December 21! While I was critical of the book because it was slow and got bogged down in too many details, you can read my review here, I do think this will make an amazing movie and I am eagerly anticipating it's release!

Here is a trailer to get you excited about December 21!


Twitter

I got a Twitter started just for the blog =) It is @FallinforYA I am more excited about this then I should be.

This is literally me right now!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Read Books of 2012

I am putting together a To Read Books of 2012 list right now and would love to hear what books you are most looking forward to!

List them in the comments section and I will add them to the list. Which is already shaping up to be pretty lengthy. So many amazing covers and story lines it is hard to figure out who will be number 1!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers


3/5 Stars


Review:
So don't get me wrong I actually enjoyed this book and will probably be picking up the sequel. Why the 3 stars then? you ask. Well as much as I liked this book there were a few things I could just not get over and they prevented me from giving this book any more stars.

Personal Demons centers around Frannie, a "normal" but really not normal girl and an Angel Gabe and Demon Luc trying to tag her soul for Heaven or Hell. Interesting premise right? I thought so too! But Ms. Desrochers takes this grand idea and makes it all about sex and which boy Frannie will choose. I could even get over that little hiccup if only Frannie knew which boy she wanted! One of my biggest reading pet peeves is heroines who don't know what they want, and Frannie has no idea what or who she wants. At many points in the book she says "I just want a normal life" but she never takes any steps toward securing that or understanding that is just not a possibility anymore.

Frannie is gifted with the power of Sway and so both Luc and Gabe are drawn to her and will give up their entire pasts/souls/lives to be with her. It felt like the male leads were forced to love Frannie and I had a real problem with that. If I am reading about someone loving someone it better be real! This love felt forced, lusty, and not like love at all. Frannie briefly questions Luc's love for her but that is qucikly poo pooed and they move on. I wanted this to me more of an issue and have hopes that it will be in the sequel.

Another qualm I had with this book is that there isn't really any driving action. The action is the relationship between Frannie and the two guys but that isn't enough for me. I need substance, character development, action. That was just lacking for me. To be fair there was some character development from Luc but that just wasn't enough to keep the story going or interesting.

Overall, Personal Demons wasn't bad. Like I said in the beginning I will probably pick up the sequel to see what happens but overall it only really merits 3 stars. Pick up this book if you like love triangles, sexy scenes, and are a fan of the angels/demons dichotomy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Cold Kiss
Author: Amy Garvey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:
I won a copy of Cold Kiss on Facebook through the Dark Days Tour Giveaway, and I was so excited to receive this one in the mail.

At first I was a little skeptical, I have had limited success with Zombie novels and expected another meh read. Color me surprised when I ended up getting sucked in during the first chapter and could not put this book down. Amy Garvey has an easy style of writing that evokes so much emotion. I found myself genuinely empathizing with Wren after the loss of her boyfriend Danny, and then as she tries to move on but can't because of the choices she has made.

The supporting character's in Cold Kiss really made the book for me. I loved Wren's two best friends, Darcia & Jess, her younger sister Robin and especially her mother! The struggle between Wren and her Mother is so like the struggle every mother goes through with their teen that I found myself calling my own Mom and apologizing for being a horrible teenager.

Cold Kiss is for any fans of The Generation Dead series or Beautiful Creatures. And if you have a spare moment and want an emotional but not overly sad read, pick this one up!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hereafter by Tara Hudson

2/5 Stars

Your classic ghost story mixed with the now overused YA storyline. Girls saves boy, girl loves boy, but girl is a ghost and hijinx's ensue.

I'm not usually one to give two stars, it is pretty easy to please me, especially when it comes to a YA. All I ask is for a little bit of personality, a splash of action, a dash of romance and you have a cocktail that will suck me in over and over again.

Unfortunately, Hereafter, does not deliver. The main character Amelia to me has no personality, she was a boring narrator that I found myself wishing would just cross over. If I was Jenifer Love Hewitt I would have "Ghost Whispered" her to the other side and saved myself the time in reading this book.

There is no action that takes place in the entire story until the last 30 pages. In a 400 page book I longed for multiple plot arcs, or at least some character development to fill the void that the lack of action leaves behind.

I could tell Hudson expected the relationship between Amelia and Joshua to fill the gap in action but to me their entire relationship felt forced and fake. They fell in love instantly when Amelia saved Joshua from the river *swoon* and from there they spent all their time together discovering Amelia's past (which was also boring). Honestly, Amelia says I love you to Joshua after only a few days, to me it felt needy. Joshua felt like an unrealistic male character. He was always too nice, too perfect, and he never questioned or wavered in why he was dating a ghost. At least Amelia had the good sense occasionally to see that this might not work out.

Even with all of these errors I could have been conned into giving the book and additional star had the ONE action sequence been resolved. Instead the ending leaves you on a pathetic and not really cliffy cliff-hanger, and all of the questions the book brought up were sadly left unanswered. It is clear that this will become another one of those YA series that has no plot (e.g. The Immortals Series) and I for one will not be picking up the next book.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrensen

3/5 Stars

Review:
I won a copy of The Lantern on Goodreads and I have to say when it came in the mail it was like receiving a Christmas present, all wrapped up, and delivered by a fairly good looking UPS man!

The Lantern follows the story of Eve who meets Dom and after a whirlwind romance the two end up renting a French farmhouse. The descriptions are lush with vivid detail, and while I was reading I could feel the heat and smells of Southern France.

Throughout the story we learn along with Eve that there is more to Dom then meets the eye. Dom never mentions his ex-wife and if Eve so much as tries to bring it up, she is met with a stony silence.

The Lantern also follows the story of Benedicte Lincel who lived in the same farmhouse that Eve is renting years earlier. Benedictes blind sister a famous perfume maker mysteriously disappeared at the height of her career.

The Lantern has a solid premise, great writing, it is everything you could ask for in a story but at the end of the day it just wasn't my kind of story. It was slow placed and after a while, despite its beautiful imagery I was actually tired of reading descriptions instead of dialogue, or plot movement.

Also the relationship between Dom and Eve really bothered me. It is clear in so many different situations that Eve is unhappy in France and is upset at Dom's lack of communication especially concerning his ex-wife but she never does anything to change the relationship. Eve mopes around and instead of leaving, which probably would have made her happy, and would defiantly have been healthier for her she stays with Dom.

There are many pluses and minuses for this book and that is why I gave it a three star rating. It is a good well written book, but I had to will myself to read it for the first 2/3 of the book and it wasn't until the very end that I actually began enjoying what I was reading.

I would recommend this book if you are a fan of descriptive literature, enjoy mysteries or love France! For me it was not my type of story but I still made it to the end and did enjoy much of the book.

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lauren DeStefano Book Plate Giveaway =)

I feel like I'm posting a ton of giveaways and not enough reviews lately, BUT this is also an amazing giveaway and you should all try and win!

I will be finishing my review of Wither very soon (I promise!), and this is a good way to get in the mood for it by winning something form the author.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

From Ashville to Nashville Book Tour Giveaway

http://ash2nash.blogspot.com/


After Myra McEntire, Victoria Schwab, and Beth Revis met at a writing retreat, they realized two important things: (1) they didn't live too far away from each other and (2) book tours never went through their rural, Southern hometowns.

So they put their heads together and decided if book tours didn't come to the rural South...they'd just have to make a book tour of their own. Starting near Asheville (Beth's homebase), the three would travel together to Nashville (Myra and Victoria's homebase) and stop at many bookstores on the way--also inviting along many other local authors to join in the fun!

BUT if like me you do not live in the South then this giveaway is for you! Best of Luck =D

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jagged Edge Giant Promotion Giveaway

A HUGE YA giveaway contest in case you would like to enter =) Best of luck!

http://klearsreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/giant-promotions-giveaway.html

Monday, June 20, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth


5/5 Stars


Review:
I have been putting off writing this review because I loved this book so much and did not really know how to put it into words. I think now a few days after finishing and a little YA Book Club Discussion I am finally ready to write my review!

Divergent is a Dystopian novel set in a future Chicago. The City is divided into five factions Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). At 16 every teen much choose which faction they would like to live with.

Beatrice Prior at the faction choosing ceremony forsakes her Faction Abnegation and chooses Dauntless. Changing her name to Tris and propelling herself into an intense and often deadly initiation.

It is while at Dauntless that she meets the Fabulous Four, one of Tris' instructors who could become something more then just a teacher.

Divergent really surprised me! I was expecting another dystopian novel trying to suck off of some of the The Hunger Games fame but I was completely wrong! Divergent is a wholly original story with well rounded characters, tons of action, and just enough romance to keep me interested.

The Characters in Divergent to me were all really well written and they had their own clear personalities. Beatrice or Tris was a breath of fresh air from many other heroines who think only about their love interest. Tris was determined, selfless, and strong. She did not only foucs on Four but was constantly worried about her fellow Dauntless initiates, her brother, parents, and the Faction system as a whole.

Now on to Four, I read somewhere that originally Divergent was written from Four's perspective and that explains why he is such a well hashed out hero, with an amazing back story. I will just admit it now I love Four!

Also, Four & Tris' relationship totally blew me away, it was sweet and serious, and just really what I wanted for the both of them! I was rooting them on the entire book and can not wait for Insurgent to come out to see where they are going!

Divergent was like an awesome action movie with something constantly happening. I was never bored reading, or wondering when something was finally going to get started. From the beginning I was hooked and could not wait to find out what was going to happen to Tris next.

I would recommend this book to anyone who liked The Hunger Games, Dystopians in general, or who just likes a good love story! I can not think of anyone who would be disappointed in Divergent.

*Sigh* The only downfall this book has is the Insurgent will not be released until 2012. The long wait begins!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

3/5 Stars

Review:
I loved the other two Robert Langdon books and so I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, this book just could not live up to expectations.

First of all I had a hard time getting into the story line. I grew up in a family full of Masons, Shriners, and I was even in Rainbow and Jobies two Masonic youth groups. So the plot line about ancient mysteries and a secret degree within the Masons was just too much of a stretch for me. I mean really? My Grandpa was Potentate of Washington State and my Dad is a Past Worshipful Master, and I'm a Past Honored Queen and Worthy Advisor. While these are all cool titles that sound mystical they are anything but. I just could not believe any of what was going on. And if you're wondering, yes it was hard for me to get through the book!

I loved the other two books with all their religious undertones and wonderful art references but I felt like this one just did not try as hard. There were a few mentions of architecture but nothing that made me get online and look up a pictures like The Da Vinci Code had. It felt like I had seen all the places and references before and there was nothing to spark my interest. Maybe if it had been set in Europe I would have enjoyed the book more.

Anyway, if you liked the other two books then you may like this one. It was not all horrible, there was a ton of action and really never a dull moment. It was just not my kind of book.

SPOILER:

I just need to get this out. The ending was total crap! Really, the lost symbol was the word/bible and it all connected to Katherine's research, I did not see that coming a mile away. Dan Brown, next time give me a storyline that makes me think and a ending that is not a total joke.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Alice Marvels Spring Giveaway

http://www.alicemarvels.com/spring-giveaway

Alice Marvels, my most favorite daily e-mail, which tells all about new things happening in the YA world is having a Spring giveaway! What are you waiting for....hurry up and enter!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon


4/5 Stars


Review:
Dead Beautiful is your basic parents die, and young girl is shipped off to Boarding School where she is uprooted from all she knows and discovers something paranormal. And to top it all off she has always been connected to this paranormalcy.

That is where the similarities end though. Dead Beautiful is a gripping, page turner that kept me guessing. Unlike most YA Paranormal Romance's this one really peaked my interest and left me wondering what our young heroines love interest really is. I won't divulge that secret though as I didn't figure it out very quickly and that made the book more enjoyable for me.

For a breakout novel Yvonne Woon seems like a pro! The language is very well chosen and the images she portrays are so realistic and tangible. It is not often that a YA novelist spends much time setting up the scene, and describing in detail all the goings on. Woon does this in such a masterful way that I really enjoyed not only the dialog but the in betweens.

I highly recommend Dead Beautiful, this book is especially great for those people who like YA but do not like writing that talks down to them (like me). Woon is a skillful story teller and I am looking forward to the sequel Life Eternal

Monday, May 9, 2011

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater


5/5 Stars


Review:
I will come out and say it. I like this book better then Shiver! While Shiver for me was a 4 star read something about the depth and clarity of the writing and the addition of one new character made Linger jump from a to-read kinda like the series to a can't wait for the next book to come out!

Linger centers around Sam & Grace and the wolf pack in Mercy Falls, Minnesota that we came to love in Shiver. Originally the changing perspectives bothered me a little, I could clearly hear the voice of each character coming through in Stiefvater's writing but it left me wanting something more, mainly a solid perspective from just one person. I think thats why I gave Shiver a 4, I just couldn't fall in the love with the changing narration or the easy love between Sam & Grace.

I am now glad that the series is written like this! In Linger I loved the changing voices and was happy for the addition of Cole, one of the new wolves made by Beck during his trip to Canada. Cole and his struggle with drug use, fame, and what it means to be human was easy for me to connect with and I enjoyed seeing someone struggle with these difficult problems in the series. It changed the series from superficial love to more difficult issues.

To me in Shiver the love between Sam & Grace was too easy. I mean Sam was becoming a wolf and that is a big thing to overcome but I knew that they would be together so I never felt the suspense, and when he became human it was not enough of a surprise to make me feel anything but superficial happiness. In Linger the love between Sam and Grace is much the same but it is now Grace being taunted by her wolf past and Sam who is struggling to keep Grace. This dynamic was more intense and real to me and I'm excited to find out what happens in Forever! (Yes Linger leaves you on a total cliffhanger! Ugh July 2011)

I am also happy to report that in Linger Isabel finds someone to connect with in Cole. They are both so similar in personality they seem like a perfect match, but that would be too easy wouldn't it?

See if Sam can keep Grace and his human body, if Isabel and Cole are a perfect match, and what happens to the wolves in Mercy Falls in Linger! I really enjoyed the book and have a feeling everyone else will too.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Girls Without a Bookshelf Giveaway

In honor of the Royal Wedding Girls Without a Bookshelf is doing a giveaway of YA Romance novels! The link is below, Good luck!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

3/5 Stars 

Review:
**Warning Contains Spoilers**

I really wanted to love this book, but everything just came up short. The financial components in the story were just plain boring to me and I found myself to be skipping through those portions. I understand the Wennerstrom affair was a large part of the story but I found it to only be a means to an end (getting him to Headstead) and how the affair wrapped up was too simple and perfect. If Wennerstrom was really a "financial gangster" all of his information would not have been kept on one computer and he would not have just been sending e-mails willy nilly. It really made the story unbelievable.

I usually do not read murder mysteries so that may be the reason I did not particularly enjoy all of the action taking place on Headstead. As soon as I understood who all the characters were in the Vanger family I pretty much knew who the killer was. The Vanger family to me had too many members that we had to remember. You could have cut half the people from that family and mentioned them maybe only once and the book would have been better for it!

Above all what forced me to give this book 3 stars was the fact that Harriett Vanger was still alive. That was another Wennerstrom style cop-out that wrapped up too easily. I'm sorry but if someone is alive someone will find them, especially if Anita knew the whole time. Not only that after Harriett had been hiding out for so many years she just decides that now that Martin is dead she will come back and run the Vanger Corporation. I was dumbfounded reading the ending of this book and was left feeling unsatisfied.

Needless to say I will probably not be picking up The sequel as it is probably more of the same boring financial intrigue and murders that are solved way too easily.

Beastly by Alex Finn

Beastly
Author: Alex Finn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: October 2, 2007
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:
This book is a modern day re-telling of the classic Beauty & The Beast story. This particular version is also now a major motion picture. I picked it up after finishing Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, because I felt like I need a book chaser that would leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy and Beastly did not disappointe.

Beastly tells the story of Kyle Kingsbury a rich news anchors son with a bad attitude. After ditching a girl, who turns out to be a witch, at a dance he is turned in to a beast. The reader gets to see how being turned in to a monster allows Kyle to discover just how human he is. How his past actions affected those around him and how superficial his life was.

I was surprised by home much I actually enjoyed this book. I honestly read it just to get thoughts of Mockingjay out of my head, wanting something quick, painless, and forgettable. Mid-way through though I found myself loving the character growth and the love that develops between Lindy & Adrian. In many young adult novels ,especially those released recently, the love the two characters have seems to be forced. They are brought together by some event and are madly attracted to each other, there is a love triangle, and eventually the female lead picks the guy she was destined for. Beastly is a much needed break from this too played out scenario.

If you are looking for a light, enjoyable read that you will still take something away from I would defiantly recommend Beastly. Plus, who doesn't enjoy reading a fairy tale?

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

5/5 Stars

Every once in a while you read a book that leaves you feeling like a better person for having read the book. I feel that way about Mockingjay.

In the third and final book of The Hunger Games Trilogy the story centers around what happens after the Collapse of District 12 and the war that has begun in the Districts of Panem. Katniss has been rescued from the Second Hunger Games arena but Peeta was not as lucky and instead was captured by the capitol.

Mockingjay follows the story of Katniss coming to terms with the new role of Mockinjay that has been thrust upon her, the challenges of living in a war torn world, and trying to understand her conflicting feelings for both Peeta and Gale.

If you loved the first two Hunger Games books this is the grand Finale you've been waiting for. While I will say that I loved the story I must admit the ending was very dark and that bothered me. In Katniss's world that has been full of so much sorrow and loss I really wanted an ending I could walk away from feeling all warm and fuzzy. This ending did not offer that and even if it had it would not have been The Hunger Games series I have come to love.

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins


5/5 Stars

Breathtaking!

It has been a long time since I have connected with a heroine the way I related to Katniss. Her struggles in both the battle dome and with her emotions makes her all the more real. The book has a Battle Royale fight to the death plot despite trying to make connections between the two in the beginning I quickly stopped when I realized this book was an entirely different beast.

If you are thinking about reading I highly encourage you to do so! It is well worth your time

Blog Beginnings

I have been toying with the idea in my mind of starting a blog for a long time. I was worried though I would not have enough to say to fill an entire website, or that it would be boring and I would lose interest.

Then a brilliant idea hit me, I should start a blog about books! They are something I never tire of and can not get bored with. More importantly this will give me an outlet to finally discuss all the books I love with other people who also love them. I could not be more excited =)

I will be mostly reviewing mostly young adult fiction but if anyone has recommendations I would be happy to hear them.