Archive | September, 2011

Shadowland by Alyson Noel

24 Sep

Shadowland

Author: Alyson Noel

Pages: [hardcover] 339

Book #3 in The Immortals series
Book 2: Blue Moon

Favorite Characters: Ever & Paul

Memorable Quote: So you’ve made a friend. How sad for them.

Summary:

Enter the realm of the Immortals—the #1 New York Times bestselling series that’s been acclaimed as breathtaking, mesmerizing, flawless and extraordinary.

 

Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives—and fought off the world’s darkest enemies—so they could be together forever.  But just when their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon Damen…one that could destroy everything.  Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death—plunging Damen into the Shadowland.   Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick—and gets help from an unexpected source…a surfer named Jude.

 

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar.  Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past.  She’s always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love—and she still believes it to be true.  But as Damen pulls away to save them, Ever’s connection with Jude grows stronger—and tests her love for Damen like never before…

Review:

Oh, boy. I really don’t know what to think about this book. Because I’ve grown to love this series, wanting to desperately know what’s going to happen with Damon and Ever. I already have the next book sitting on my TBR pile. And while Shadowland doesn’t make me regret getting into the series, it’s definitely giving me doubts as to where this is going. While there were some good points to the story, I feel like nothing actually happened the entire time. Things were hinted to that might hold significance in the future, but they don’t make anything interesting now. There were long stretches of no action, just weak plot building, with some character decisions that made no sense.

I loved the introduction of Jude, who definitely made everything brighter for a while, because of his new importance. Yet his entire relationship with Ever barely registered with me, and she seemed to do some completely stupid things while claiming she wanted nothing to do with him.

On the other hand, Roman definitely fell flat. All of that ‘I don’t need to do anything, you’re already doing what I want you to do’ attitude may be creepy, but it takes away from the suspense. The action. The what-could-possibly-happen-next. He was just . . . boring. As the main villain, that’s something you never want. Fear, not indifference.

This book seemed like build up for later in the series. Nothing of real significance happened except for a smattering of incidents, and the entire novel could have been a lot shorter. If some pages were taken out, it probably would have been better. I’ll still keeping reading the Immortals series, but I need to regain my enthusiasm. Here’s hoping Dark Flame will be amazing. I give Shadowland 3/5 stars.

Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz

15 Sep

Scorpia Rising

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Pages [hardcover]: 402

Book 9 of the Alex Rider series

Memorable Quote: A German philosopher once wrote that he who fights monsters must take care that he doesn’t become one himself.

Favorite Characters: Alex & Jack

Summary:

Scorpia has dogged Alex Rider for most of his life. They killed his parents, they did their best to con Alex into turning traitor, and they just keep coming back with more power. Now the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization is playing with fire in the world’s most combustible land: the Middle East. No one knows Scorpia like Alex. And no one knows how best to get to Alex like Scorpia. Until now.

The chases have never been more intense, the fights more treacherous, or the risks so perilous to mankind. And this time, Alex won’t get away.

Review:

I’ve loved the Alex Rider series even since I happened to randomly get the first book. Though it sat in a cardboard box, gathering dust, for far longer than I’d like to admit, I finally picked it up. That’s when, years ago, I became so obsessed with wanting to know what was going to happen with him next. And now, finally, it’s all coming to the end. Imagine my disappointment when I found out this would be the last Alex Rider book!

Alex is an awesome character, and in this novel I could really seen how he’s grown and developed over the course of the series-a little over a year in his life. He’s still a teenager, and that year would have brought enough change as it was, without adding his tendency to be assigned missions by MI6. Usually missions that involve life or death situations. And I love how he still retained his childishness throughout it, without becoming a mundane, boring, flat character.

The setting for this book was perfect. I could really picture everything that was going on, from the scenes filled with action to the more relaxing moments where the plot built. Placing the story in such a great place was definitely a great decision, and even though I’ve never been to Cairo or seen many pictures of it, the images were still in my mind.

Anthony Horowitz has the ability to create some of the best villains ever, and the main bad guy in Scorpia Rising was no different. He was evil, insane, and driven into Alex’s life. Even though he was easy to hate, I loved how he was portrayed and developed.

I loved Scorpia Rising and give it 5/5 stars. I’m sad to see this series go, but it was amazing while it lasted. This was a fantastic conclusion, and I couldn’t imagine it getting any better. I’m more than satisfied with how it all ended, though it did get quite sad. I really think everyone should give this series a chance, even if it’s not what you’re usually into! I never imagined I’d like a book about a teen spy, and this turned out to be one of the best series I’ve ever read.

Matched by Ally Condie

11 Sep

 

Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Pages : [hardcover] 384

Memorable Quote: It is strange how we hold on to the pieces of the past while we wait for our futures.

Favorite Characters: Xander & Ky

Summary:

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.

Review:

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long,long time. It’s been on my TBR list for ages, but I only picked it up a few days ago. Thankfully I didn’t read it sooner, or I’d have had longer to wait for the sequel. Because as soon as I finished Matched I wanted the next book! I don’t think I can wait until November to get more of this series.

Cassia is an interesting character that believes fully in everything her Society does-at least, at first. Once time passes and things start to get more complicated, she begins to doubt everything she’s ever known, even though she knows speaking aloud about this would get her into more trouble than she can imagine. She had her dull moments for me in the book, points where I really didn’t like her and couldn’t care about what she did. I warmed up to her at other moments, and I can’t really tell why I had these off and on feelings about her.

I really liked the descriptions of the Society, because I could picture it perfectly. And while I’ve been reading more and more about dystopian novels lately, this still managed to be new and refreshing, with different conspiracies going on and plot twists spread throughout the book. I loved not knowing what was going to happen next, either with Cassia or one of the amazing supporting characters.

I really enjoyed Matched and give it 5/5 stars. It’s a book I’ll come back to read again and again, and I can’t wait for the sequel! It’s killing me that I can’t have it right now!

Where She Went by Gayle Foreman

6 Sep

Where She Went

Author : Gayle Foreman

Pages : [hardcover] : 264

Sequel to If I Stay

Memorable Quote: You don’t share me. You own me.

Favorite Characters: Adam & Mia

Summary:

It’s been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

Review:

I read and quickly fell in love with If I Stay years ago. I never, ever expected a sequel, which made me sad, and when I saw that this book was actually going to exist-not just in my imaginary perfect world-I jumped for joy! I didn’t know what to expect, as I refused to read much on it before I actually picked it up, not wanting to raise my expectations to unreachable heights. That turned out to work splendidly for me, as every part of Where She Went was wonderfully different from how I pictured it could be.

I was immediately drawn into the storyline, as Adam’s and Mia’s lives have changed so drastically from the end of the first books. Three years have passed, and they’ve grown up, each starting to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives and acting upon it. The pages seemed to fly by, and before I knew it, the book was finished.

I love the writing style of this book, full of imagery and great detail. I could really picture everything that was going on, as well as see how Adam was feeling and know exactly why he was feeling that way. The descriptive prose was really touching, and it wasn’t in large, daunting paragraphs that are hard to swallow, rather concise sentences.

I really loved Where She Went. It was a fantastic book that continues the story and fought its way into my heart. I know that fans of the first book will like this sequel, and newcomers should start with If I Stay, or else risk being completely lost. I give this book 5/5 stars.

Contest Winner!

3 Sep

The winner of my contest for a copy of ‘Lockdown’ by Alexander Gordon Smith is….

Darlene!

Congratulations! I’ve emailed her and she has 24 hours to respond, or else I’ll be forced to pick another winner! Thanks to everyone who entered!

August 2011 Wrap Up

3 Sep

This month was crazy! I managed to read:

Scars-Cheryl Rainfield
Abandon-Meg Cabot
Peter and the Secret of Rundoon-Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
The Kite Runner-Khaled Hosseini
Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings-Helene Boudreau
The Lucky One-Nicholas Sparks
The Candidates-Inara Scott
Envy-Gregg Olsen
Blue Bloods-Melissa De La Cruz
That Summer-Sarah Dessen

Books I purchased: 4
Won in Contest: 1
Borrowed from friend: 0
Checked out from library: 3
Review books: 2
Pages read: 3084

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 2/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 1/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 9/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 9/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 2/4

I read 10 books this month, and found some new favorites The best had to be ‘Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings’, though there were a few others I’ll hold onto for a while. Though this month was extremely hot (and filled with earthquakes and hurricanes for me), now it’s time for September, and school’s coming up. I don’t want to go back!

How was your August? Do anything fun this summer?

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