Book Review: Darkest Mercy

May
25
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Darkest Mercy Darkest Mercy by
Series: Wicked Lovely #5
Published by in 2011
Genres: , ,
Pages: 327
Source:
Goodreads

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.
Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.
Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

My Review:

Finally, after far too long a wait, I have been able to read the final installment in the Wicked Lovely series. It was a long wait, but it was well worth it. I have loved this series since I opened the very first book last fall, and it continues to be one of my absolute favorite series’ of all time! That said, this will probably be a rather short review. It is unbelievably easy to spoil earlier books just by talking about this one, and I hate to spoil any book if I can avoid it.

The gang’s all here for one final adventure. It must have been some kind of juggling act keeping up with all the story lines she set up in the earlier books, and I’m well impressed with the result. By the end of the book I found that my curiosity about all the storylines was finally sated, and despite feeling sad that a good thing had ended, I felt that this was the perfect ending to a wonderful series.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series, don’t start here. You’ll be far too confused. Start at the beginning and work your way here, though, it is well worth it!





Book Review: Wither

May
23
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Wither Wither by
Series: Chemical Garden #1
Published by in 2011
Genres: ,
Pages: 358
Source:
Goodreads

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

My Review:

More than anything else, Wither reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale. True, it’s less graphic and less frightening overall, but Wither seems like what Handmaid’s Tale would be if it were a YA novel.


Despite the strangeness of the future setting, Rhine is very normal-seeming. Of course, she’s mostly normal in comparison to other dystopian heroines like Katniss from The Hunger Games and Vera from The Water Wars, but these strong-but-reluctant heroines seem to have become the norm. Not that it’s a bad thing, though it does make me wonder at the cultural implications. Either way, Rhine reacts to the situation in the same way I’d like to think I would in such an awful setting.


But the thing I liked the most is the way Destefano treated Rhine’s husband, the House Master. Even though Rhine was being forced into an unwilling marriage, it was very clear that her husband was not the one to blame. He may have been clueless and guilty by association, but it was very obvious that he should not be considered “the bad guy.” The one to watch out for is the Governor. That man is not only evil, he’s downright creepy! Here is the real mastermind of all the troubles. Even if he personally didn’t create the virus, he is the one you want to blame for everything. He’s the perfect villain, keeping me scared and angry and defiant all at once.


Overall, this was a great read. It explored all the ways society would change if we began dying so young and through that it was a wonderful cautionary tale. Let us hope the right people take heed!





Book Review: Delirium

May
17
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Delirium Delirium by
Series: Delirium #1
Published by in 2012
Genres: ,
Pages: 441
Source:
Goodreads

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: Timeless

May
11
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Timeless Timeless by
Series: Timeless #1
Published by in 2011
Genres: ,
Pages: 290
Source:
Goodreads

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

My Review:

I have always loved out-of-time love stories. I was rather obsessed with Kate and Leopold and The Lake House when they came out, and I love the Doctor Who episodes like “The Girl in the Fireplace.” So when I heard about Timeless I got really excited!


The story itself was fairly interesting. I loved Philip! I always feel like I should have been born in another time because I cannot stand modern boys (for the most part). I want gentlemanly behavior and chivalrous treatment, and frankly boys look better in suits. (This is probably why I love steampunk as a genre – I’m too attached to my modern appliances to truly live back then, but I want to live before chivalry died.) I also thought she solved most of the convoluted-ness of the situation fairly well, but in some ways she explained everything, while in others nothing. 


This brings me to my second point. While I wanted to love the book, it felt like a prequel. It didn’t grab me and suck me in the way I wanted it to, because I spent the whole time waiting for something big to happen. Then, the last few pages finally felt like the start of the real story, but it ended! I think this is a result of what she chose to explain. In my mind, a prequel explains all of the little details in the backstory that weren’t absolutely essential to the original story, while the true “first book” explains all the really big important stuff. I wanted to know how Irving/Henry figured out how to time travel, and why he chose Michele’s mom and more of that story, but instead I got the side story of Michele’s romance.


That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, and I will definitely be looking for the second in the series. It’s a great book, especially for a debut! If you think you’ll like it, try it. If not, maybe wait until the rest of the series comes out and then try it.





Book Review: The Faeman Quest

May
10
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
The Faeman Quest The Faeman Quest by
Series: Faerie Wars #5
Published by in 2011
Genres: , ,
Pages: 368
Source:
Goodreads

When Mella, the daughter of King Consort Henry and Queen Holly Blue accidentally travels to the country of Haleklind, she discovers rebel forces preparing an invasion using a terrifying new magical weapon.

My Review:

I think first I need to ask has anyone heard of this series besides me? It’s one of my favorites, but every time I talk about it I get such blank stares! (Including internet *blank stares* which just makes me sad. This wonderful community should have at least one other person in it who knows the wonder of the Faerie Wars!) I’m considering a read-a-thon re-reading these, would anyone be interested in joining in?


I was a little surprised at the time skip from the end of the last book, even though I knew it had to happen. I think it was really well done though. We now get to see Henry as a grown-up – he has a 16-year-old daughter so he has to be at least 35, and is probably 40. It’s rare that we see a character (especially a main character) age that much in a YA or MG series (Faerie Wars is sorta borderline – think Harry Potter mixed with Artemis Fowl). The amazing thing is that Brennan still kept Henry the same and yet believable. He was still the Henry I loved originally but he’s become a father figure while I wasn’t looking.


I also loved the addition of Mella to the cast. She is such a mixture of Henry and Blue that she couldn’t possibly be anyone else’s daughter. She’s spunky independent and slightly quirky and completely loveable.


I’m so glad this isn’t the last book (it better not be!) and I eagerly await the next installment! (ASAP please Mr. Brennan. That wasn’t a very nice place to stop!)







Book Review: Fallen

Apr
28
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Fallen Fallen by
Series: Fallen #1
in 2009
Genres: , ,
Pages: 452
Source:
Goodreads

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

My Review:

It took me a very long time to pick this book up. I’d seen it around the blogosphere for a while but after reading the blurb I hesitated. I’m not much one to go in for true love stories. I’d like to believe in it, but I’m so skeptical that it has to be really well done for me to buy into it. Now that I’ve read the book, I can honestly say I’m glad I did. Kate did a very good job of setting up the romance without overdoing things, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Probably my favorite part of the book was the setting. I have a weakness for boarding school stories (Harry Potter anyone?) and I love the dark atmosphere at Sword and Cross. At the same time, that darkness is mixed with the St. Trinian’s type attitude of the students, making for a very interesting overall read.


My only complaint, and it’s not really a complaint at all, is that I wanted to see more of Luce gradually falling for Daniel. The exposition happened so quickly that I didn’t quite trust Luce’s infatuation with him – it felt more like puppy love than true love to me. On the other hand, Luce gradually falling would probably have ruined the story because Daniel would have caught on and pushed her away or left. Kind of a Catch-22 really.


Final verdict: This is a must read for fans of Nightshade, Twilight and other paranormal romances. I am so excited to get my hands on the next book!





Book Review: The Ghost and the Goth

Apr
20
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
The Ghost and the Goth The Ghost and the Goth by
Series: The Ghost and the Goth #1
Published by in 2010
Genres: , ,
Pages: 281
Source:
Goodreads

Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.

I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.

I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?

My Review:

I started this one looking for a light fluffy read. After the trouble I had (and shouldn’t have had) with The Iron Thorn I knew I needed something different. This book certainly had a different feel to it, but it wasn’t the fluff piece I was expecting.



Firstly, I loved the characters. Alona may have been so far from who I was in High School, but I could really relate to her in ways that sometimes don’t work for cheerleader types in stories. Plus I found Will, also very different from me, and the type of person I hung out with, extremely attractive. I have a new book boyfriend! (added to about 100 others, but they don’t know so it’s ok! lol)


I also found the story very engaging. It was kind of a cross between Nevermore and Just Like Heaven (this really cute RomCom with Reese Witherspoon and the guy from 13 going on 30). I love the idea of people who are meant to be together and end up getting a second chance – for a while I was obsessed with the movie The Lake House because I love that kind of storyline. I’m so excited to see where she takes this one, though, since the second chance seems doomed to failure simply because Alona is dead.


In the end, I would definitely recommend this to anyone open to the idea of paranormal romance. It’s so fun, and yet so meaningful at the same time!





Book Review: The Iron Thorn

Apr
16
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
The Iron Thorn The Iron Thorn by
Series: Iron Codex #1
Published by in 2011
Genres: ,
Pages: 492
Source:
Goodreads

In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.
Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.

My Review:

First things first, I would love to meet Caitlin Kittridge someday. The mind that can think up all the complicated rules of this society and keep them straight must be one heck of an organized mind! In fact, the intricacy of the story and the setting is one of the things I really loved about this book! The world is amazing and I would love to learn more about it.


Unfortunately (and I really mean that) I was going into this book with a severe case of burnout. I’d been working really hard on this creative project aka recital, and I couldn’t allow myself enough breaks, and by the end of it, anything creative, right on down to reading, sounded very un-fun to me. The worst bit was, I didn’t even realize it until I was halfway through the book and found myself slogging along! I think if I’d been in a different mood, and not in the situation I was in, I would have loved this book, but as it was, this book took much longer and was harder to understand than it should have been for me.


That said, I would definitely recommend it! I loved the dynamic between Aoife and Dean (anyone know what Aoife means, btw? Or even how to say it? That bugged me a tiny bit.) I never saw the twists coming, and I enjoyed the intricacy of the setting. Just be warned that you must be in the mood for this book before you pick it up, because it’s complicated and will take some work to understand.





Book Review: The Demon Trapper’s Daughter

Apr
14
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
The Demon Trapper's Daughter The Demon Trapper's Daughter by
Series: The Demon Trappers #1
Published by in 2011
Genres: , ,
Pages: 340
Source:
Goodreads

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps.  The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

My Review:

I’m a little behind on this review – sorry! I actually finished this one a few days ago, but I’ve had other reviews scheduled and I didn’t bother with writing it up. Sorry!


First of all, can I just say “About time!” It seems like urban fantasies like this aren’t nearly as common among YA novels – obviously we have City of Bones but even that gets out of the urban fantasy eventually.  This one is Urban Fantasy all the way through. The only difference from an adult urban fantasy was the lack of racy material, and I’m ok with that.


One of the things I really liked about this book was the detail put into the hierarchy of demons. Magpies and Biblio-fiends sound so cute, though they should keep far away from my library. I’d like to learn more about all the demons, because they seem like there’s more to them than just “gotta kill them all!” I know I say this a lot about books that have new creatures in them, but I want a catalog of pictures and specs on some of these demons! What can I say, I’m that kind of person.


I also enjoyed Riley as a character. She’s tough, and she doesn’t give up. I spent a lot of time feeling bad for her, cause no matter what she did she could not catch a break. Her author was very mean! But it makes for a good story so I’m not going to complain.


In the end, I’d give this one two thumbs up – this is the perfect book for anyone who loves Urban Fantasy or YA. This is a great introduction to either genre!





Book Review: Matched

Apr
11
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Matched Matched by
Series: Matched #1
Published by in 2010
Genres: ,
Pages: 369
Source:
Goodreads

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My Review:

I have always been a fan of dystopia, ever since I read The Giver for the first time in fourth grade. Now, I know everyone has already made this comparison, but Matched felt like reading The Giver all over again. Some people complained that this was a problem and that Matched wasn’t original enough, but I disagree. I think Matched balanced its references to its predecessors with originality in such a way that made reading it an enjoyable experience. We’ve all had those books that we finish and wish that we could read it for the first time again. The only way to do that is to read something similar.

That said, I did get a little frustrated with Cassia. I don’t think it’s really her fault, it’s just that I’ve seen the topic of “girl has two boys and can’t decide which she wants” so many times now that it’s starting to get very old. Yes, fine, they’re both gorgeous, wonderful boys, but since when does being a girl automatically mean that you can’t make a decision? I don’t think this would have bothered me if it was the first time I’d seen this trope, but after a gazillion times it’s starting to get on my nerves.

On the other hand, I really loved the character of Ky. He is mysterious but sweet and helpful to Cassia when she needs it. But the thing I loved most is that even though I can tell that he’s part of the revolution, he isn’t looking for a fight. He believes in a different world, and if he had to he’d fight for it, but you can tell he doesn’t want to. That’s one of the major places I found originality in this series, and I liked it just for that. Yes, it does make for a more philosophical book than, say, the action packed trend The Hunger Games started. But it also makes a good point – sometimes violence isn’t necessarily the answer, and even if it is the answer, you shouldn’t go chasing after it until it’s the last resort.

So overall, enjoyable, but not for everyone. It has its good points, and it does have strong nods towards previous books. But, don’t go in expecting a ton of action, or you will be disappointed.





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