Book Review: Cloaked

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Cloaked Cloaked by
Published by in 2011
Genres: ,
Pages: 341

I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.
It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.
There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades.
Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either. But you'll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

My Review:

I adore Alex Flinn. Case in point: When I returned from vacation nearly a month ago, I’d racked up something like 10 reviews to write so I put myself on a book reading ban – read slowly, if at all, reread so there’s no review to write, and read multiple at once so you don’t finish any of them. I picked up Cloaked and that all flew out the window. I raced through the book in a day, unable to stop myself or slow down.

One of the things I love about Flinn’s books is her accessible, informal tone. Her stories read like The Princess Diaries or  Anna and the French Kiss but they have magic. They tell the ancient, wonderful stories we first heard as kids, reworking them and making us believe in them.

I especially enjoyed Cloaked because it draws on some of the much lesser known fairy tales. As a fairy tale junkie myself I recognized most of them, but she pulled out a few even I didn’t know! As some of my favorites are these lesser known tales (my only mainstream favorite is Beauty and the Beast) I was really excited for this one. I was not disappointed in the least. The tales worked themselves out with true poetic justice and the fairy tale flavor just lightly colors the real world love story.

With all 3 of her fairy tale books on my favorites list, Flinn has officially made it on to my “Favorite Authors” list. I will read anything she puts out as soon as I can get my hands on it. She’s THAT good people!

Book Review: Delirium

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Delirium Delirium by
Series: Delirium #1
Published by in 2012
Genres: ,
Pages: 441

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

My Review:

I’m having a hard time pulling my thoughts together on this one, so I apologize if I seem less than coherent (or less than normal anyways). Delirium was definitely not what I was expecting. Somehow I’d forgotten everything I’d read in the reviews because all I knew was it was a society without love, going into it. What makes the book so intriguing is how centered on the theme of love the book actually is. Sure we have other love-less societies in dystopia; all the adults take pills to cure it in The Giver and in Ayn Rand’s Anthem, they’re brainwashed out of it. But in Delirium, love as a disease is so prominent it’s almost a character.

The scariest thing about this book for me is how logical the whole thing sounds. I doubt we could really connect love as the cause of all those diseases directly, but love causes stress which does cause a lot of diseases. When the crazy theories of the “bad guy” governments start making sense to me, I get real scared, because there are lots of people out there it would be even easier to convince! On the other hand, could we really convince all of society to give up love? For all we’re a “post-modern, disillusioned” society, we really are quite obsessed with the idea of “true love.”

Overall, though, an amazing read that makes you think! I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

Book Review: I am Number Four

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I am Number Four I am Number Four by
Series: Lorien Legacies #1
Published by in 2010
Genres: ,
Pages: 440

In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

My Review:

When I first saw this book around the blogosphere, I was kind of skeptical. I’m getting a little tired of the “New guy/girl falls for the wrong person but they were meant to be together  so they work it out in the end” and that’s exactly what this sounded like. I’m so glad to be proven wrong!

First of all, this is the first time I have ever seen one of these where one of them is an alien, and I like it! I’ve seen thousands of Vampire/Werewolf/Angel/Witch/whatever paranormal you fancy versions of this, and it’s getting to the point that they have to be absolutely fabulous for me to enjoy them because they’ve been done so often. But aliens have rarely been touched, and I think it’s a really good idea! We need to bring back YA sci-fi, and here’s a great start.

The thing I really liked about this one is that, even though there’s a love story to it, it’s not the main story. John loves Sarah but the important part of the story is the Mogadorians trying to kill Loriens, and that always comes first in the story. I really like this – many paranormal stories are all about the forbidden romance these days, and while that’s nice, I’m so ready for one that is more about the actual story not the romance. 

Oh, and of course I love the fact that it’s set in Ohio! We tend to be considered a boring place to live, and while I don’t disagree, it’s nice to read a story  that makes it seem at least a little more interesting.

I’m so excited to go see this  film someday, and I’m so glad I gave the book a chance!

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