Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

28 Mar

 

Clockwork Princess

The Infernal Devices #3
Book 1: Clockwork Angel
Book 2: Clockwork Prince

author : cassandra clare

pages : [hardcover] 570

memorable quote Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.

favorite characters : tessa & jem

summary :

London 1873 shape-shifter Tessa Gray 16 is engaged to Jem Carstairs 17, dying of addiction to demon drug, all bought up by evil Mortmain. The “clockwork prince” controls an army of automatons to abduct Tess, kill the Shadowhunters, and blackmail Charlotte Branwell, head of London Institute. Will and Tessa hide their love, for love of Jem. Plus 2-pg Note on Tessa’s England.

review :

Oh my goodness. I don’t even know what to say about this novel, though first of all I’d like to tell you I’m going to try hard not to include spoilers from the first two books in this review. There definitely won’t be any spoilers from Clockwork Princess.

I feel like I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Cassandra Clare. On the one hand I absolutely love the world she’s built of Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and Mundanes. On the other, her writing style isn’t exactly my type and when I heard she was making this trilogy (and, apparently, yet another spin-off from the original Mortal Instruments) I wondered why she would keep delving into this world instead of writing about something new. Apart from her knowing that she has a large fanbase who’ll eagerly devour anything written by her.

I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this trilogy at the start. Some of the characters were interesting but they felt similar to ones I’d read about originally in City of Bones. But then Clockwork Princess came along. To be honest I’ll recommend this trilogy just so you can get to this last book because, believe it or not . . this conclusion makes it all worth it. What’s set up in the previous two falls together so nicely (and it’s fun to see how things will tie in to the other books she’s written!) and you’ll probably be shedding tears like I did when I reached the end of this book and the epilogue tore my heart in half, then stitched it up a little to make things slightly less painful and bittersweet.

Some parts of this book were predictable but where it counted most, where I was hoping it would pull through, I was surprised and things happened that I never saw coming. And it was awesome. This trilogy ended up being so much better than the original and I’m so thankful my friend convinced me to read it through to the end.

If you’re looking to get into reading Cassandra Clare, I’ve heard the best method is to read the original three books, then this trilogy, and then the next three Mortal Instruments books. But if you’ll take my recommendation and go with my favorites, you’ll stick with these.

5/5 stars

Have you read this trilogy? I’d love to discuss everything that happened (or why you haven’t read it yet) with you!

The Maze Runner Trailer is Finally Here!

19 Mar

CAN I PLEASE TELL YOU ALL ABOUT HOW EXCITED I AM FOR THIS MOVIE?

I thought that it would translate from page to screen as soon as I read The Maze Runner and I’ve been anxiously following along with news as the movie keeps getting a release date that’s farther and farther away . .

And yet I’m already in love with this cast and we all get to see a pretty awesome trailer. I want more!

These action sequences looked awesome. Especially that ending . . Now I want to reread the novel and get myself pumped to see this in theaters the moment it comes out. Watch the trailer below and tell me what you think of it! Are there other books being turned into movies soon that you think I should check out?

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

19 Mar

Incarnate

author : jodi meadows

pages : [hardcover] 374

memorable quote : “Did you have friends?”
“I’ve read about them, but I don’t believe they exist.”
“Your cynicism is amazing.”

favorite characters : sam & ana

summary :

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Heart

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

review :

Why did it take me so long to read this book? Maybe I just wanted to wait because now books 2 and 3 are out and I want to get my hands on them as soon as possible. The characters and concept of this story immediately drew me in. What would it be like being Ana, the only outsider on a planet where the same souls have known each other other five thousand years? To know that because you exist, another soul couldn’t be reincarnated?

It was an interesting concept and I was really fascinated by how Ana acted around the other characters and the various reactions among those who met her. Particularly in the first section of the book, after Ana leaves her abusive mother to seek out more information about herself, it was heartbreaking seeing the way she would automatically make assumptions about how others would treat her. That had me rooting for her throughout the entire book, hoping that her life could get a lot better and making me happy whenever she got things that she deserved.

There were a few mysteries surrounding the setting and lingering on the edges of the plot in this book that I hope will be settled in the next one. I’m not sure exactly of what direction the plot will take but I’ll happily read it. This book has made me fall in love with Jodi Meadows’ writing and now I want to get my hands on more! The characters were fabulous in this novel, even the secondary ones, and the plot was unlike anything I’ve had the chance to read before.

I definitely recommend picking up Incarnate. It was a quick read for me and I enjoyed every moment of it. I can’t wait to go on with this series!

5/5 stars

The Rich and the Dead by Liv Spector

17 Mar

The Rich and the Dead

author : liv spector

pages : [paperback] 320

favorite character : lila  

summary :

In exclusive Star Island, Miami, money and power can’t protect you… In collaboration with branding powerhouse Alloy Entertainment comes a thrilling new series featuring a former Miami PD detective on the hunt for a mass murderer, who must face the past she thought she left behind.

On New Year’s Day 2015, twelve powerful, wealthy people were found dead—shot in a lavish Star Island estate. In 2018, the murderer remains at large.

As a detective and lead investigator on the case of the century, Lila Day was consumed by her hunt for the Star Island Killer. But that was before she was pushed out from the force, and her life unraveled.

Years later, down on her luck and no longer a police officer, Lila is approached by mysterious billionaire Teddy Hawkins. He has a job for her, he says—solving the Star Island murders. Lila laughs. After all, how do you solve a crime when all the leads have long grown cold? The answer, Teddy tells her, is to be there before it happened. He is going to send her back in time.

With nothing left to lose, Lila travels back in time to 2014, determined to stop the Star Island killer once and for all. There’s one catch: she must gather the evidence to bring the murderer to justice in her own time, without trying to save anyone. Easy enough, until she starts to care for the people who are destined to die. Now Lila must be willing to say good-bye—or risk setting into motion events that could change the future forever.

review :

Who doesn’t want to read a crime novel where the investigator gets to check out the crime before it even happened? I thought this was an incredibly cool concept and take on a regular detective story so I just had to get my hands on this book. Lila Days is an independent, kick-ass cop who’s such a perfectionist she ruined her career when she simply couldn’t let go of the Star Island murder case. Lucky for her, she isn’t the only one still seeking justice and trying to piece together the clues that’ll lead her to the answers she’s been searching for.

I’m going to try not to focus too much on the actual time machine aspect of things because it’s never really explained how Teddy of all people came to acquire this device because he definitely isn’t the scientist who created it. I was a little dubious about how he just so happened to have it to use to send Lila back. But that needed to happen for the plot to work and I really enjoyed the entire concept. When she first goes back, Lila thinks that this investigation will be easy, though she’s quickly faced with an assortment of challenges including love, loss, and wondering if she could prevent this tragedy from ever occurring.

This book kept me guessing which is always awesome in a crime novel. As soon as I thought that I had things figured out, the plot would twist in a different direction. At times when Lila thought she had the case solved but there were still a hundred or so pages left in the book, it was easy for me to say that she was wrong, but there were so many other aspects and mysteries to the plot that I was never bored. These rich socialites all have their secrets that Lila uncovers slowly.

It looks like this book is building up into a series. I hope that it is because not only would I like to read more from this author, I’d love to read more about these characters. I think that there’s much more about Teddy that needs to be shown and there are parts of Lila’s life mentioned in passing throughout this novel that I think could be explored further. If there’s going to be a sequel, I’m definitely game to read it.

If you’re looking for an easy but suspenseful read, The Rich and the Dead is for you!

4/5 stars

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

14 Mar

The Beginning of Everything

author : robyn schneider

pages : [hardcover] 335

memorable quote And I realized that there’s a big difference between deciding to leave and knowing where to go.

favorite characters : ezra & toby

summary :

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

review :

I started reading this book because I had the privilege of meeting Robyn Schneider while she was on the Story Crush tour. I have to say that this book is as remarkably quirky and maybe a little awkward, reminiscent of the author in all of the best ways. Contemporary young adult literature isn’t something that I always reach for on the shelves; the storytelling nearly always needs to rely on the characters and their development. I think that this is something that The Beginning of Everything did nicely. At some points the characters could become so eccentric the novel took on an aura of absurdity, though in the end it definitely recovered from this and turned into a book that I’ll definitely need to read again.

Ezra Faulker. Not exactly a normal name for a guy who isn’t very normal. He experiences his personal tragedy in the beginning of the book (and, being a tennis player myself, some of what he experienced afterward pummeled my emotions). He basically realizes that his life can never return to what it had been before his tragedy but it’s the only way he’s known of living so he can’t even begin to fathom how things can still work out alright for him.

Enter his new group at school. I definitely think a lot more could have been done with this supporting cast of diverse characters. I wanted to see more conflict and things that would make me incredibly interested and attached to these characters. Usually this group was only pulled in for little bits of amusement, quirky details, or to stir up a little drama that tended to peter out once that conflict was no longer necessary to the plot. This was one of the stronger objections I had to some part of this novel.

Otherwise, it really entertained me and once I got going it only took me two days to read through. At that point I was so overwhelmed by what I’d read that I needed to sit on it for a little while before I could write this review. I couldn’t help but feel proud of Ezra at the conclusion of the book . . which made me realize how emotionally attached I’d gotten to him. The other characters, even Cassidy, were good to me but not great. I’m glad that the focus of the novel really had the chance to shine.

I’d definitely recommend this book if you need a good contemporary read. It might take a little while to get into but it’ll leave you satisfied at the end.

4/5 stars

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

9 Mar

Burial Rites

author : Hannah Kent

pages : [hardcover] 322

memorable quote : To know what a person has done, and to know who a person is, are very different things.

favorite characters : agnes & margret

summary :

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

review :

I was very fascinated by the idea for this novel and nearly as soon as I began it I couldn’t put it down. Historical fiction for me can either be a hit or a miss. Burial Rites for me was a fantastically enjoyable read, set in an unfamiliar setting with struggling characters I couldn’t help but feel for. The book really explored how the thoughts and stories of others can affect how one’s life turns out and throughout the entire novel the reader is shown several perspectives. The characters speculate as to what could have truly happened the night of the murders and you’re left to wonder and read on to see if Agnes will take the opportunity to tell her side of the story or die with the truth still unspoken.

Agnes was a very complicated woman and I absolutely loved that. Flawed characters abound in this novel, making it more realistic so that I really felt like I was reading a historical account of what had happened. Adding to the effect were the letters and other documents posted at the beginning of every chapter. The author explains that these are translations from original sources. That’s noted at the end of the book, which makes me want to read through everything again so I can really put myself in the mindset of the times.

I can’t imagine what it would be like, being sentenced to death. Although at a few points in the novel Agnes seems very passive and I grew frustrated with her, I think this only added to the story. She chooses to deal with or ignore her problems as they come and we’re right there alongside her, viewing the days of a convicted murderer.

If you’re looking for a fascinating historical read based on actual events I highly recommend this novel. It’s very captivating and I flew through the pages, though the content was weighty enough that it will stick with me for a while. This is definitely a book that I’ll need to read again.

5/5 stars

Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead

7 Mar

Apex Hides the Hurt

author: colson whitehead

pages : [hardcover] 227

memorable quote Later he decided the specifics were not important, that the true lesson of accidents is not the how or the why, but the taken-for-granted world they exile you from.

summary :

From the MacArthur and Whiting Award–winning author ofJohn Henry Days and The Intuitionist comes a new, brisk, comic tour de force about identity,history, and the adhesive bandage industry

When the citizens of Winthrop needed a new name for their town, they did what anyone would do—they hired a consultant. The protagonist ofApex Hides the Hurt is a nomenclature consultant. If you want just the right name for your new product, whether it be automobile or antidepressant, sneaker or spoon, he’s the man to get the job done. Wardrobe lack pizzazz? Come to the Outfit Outlet. Always the wallflower at social gatherings? Try Loquacia. And of course, whenever you take a fall, reach for Apex, because Apex Hides the Hurt. Apex is his crowning achievement, the multicultural bandage that has revolutionized the adhesive bandage industry. “Flesh-colored” be damned—no matter what your skin tone is—Apex will match it, or your money back.

After leaving his job (following a mysterious misfortune), his expertise is called upon by the town of Winthrop. Once there, he meets the town council, who will try to sway his opinion over the coming days. Lucky Aberdeen, the millionaire software pioneer and hometown-boy-made-good, wants the name changed to something that will reflect the town’s capitalist aspirations, attracting new businesses and revitalizing the community. Who could argue with that? Albie Winthrop, beloved son of the town’s aristocracy, thinks Winthrop is a perfectly good name, and can’t imagine what the fuss is about. Regina Goode, the mayor, is a descendent of the black settlers who founded the town, and has her own secret agenda for what the name should be. Our expert must decide the outcome, with all its implications for the town’s future. Which name will he choose? Or perhaps he will devise his own? And what’s with his limp, anyway?

Apex Hides the Hurt brilliantly and wryly satirizes our contemporary culture, where memory and history are subsumed by the tides of marketing.

review :

I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this book. I needed to read it for class and was relieved that it was very slim and didn’t seem to have difficult prose for me to trudge through. The characters were interesting. The plot wasn’t very shocking or gripping but it was easy to see the underlying themes and ideas, especially about consumerism and marketing.

I found it so incredibly interesting that the main character doesn’t have a name when his entire job involves naming things so that they will reach their full potential. A great product with a terrible name will never sell; most people take this for granted but don’t imagine there’s an entire job that revolves around settling on the perfect name for something. The narrator himself admits that usually he landed the perfect name early on and needed to wait a while to give it to the client, so that it’d seem like he took a long time contemplating the decision.

I really enjoyed the partially ambiguous ending, though I think that it would annoy some readers. It fit in perfectly for this kind of odd little novel. There was so much going on throughout, with not much action and a lot of flashback, that to just tie it all up neatly wouldn’t have seemed right.

I definitely recommend this book especially if you’re looking for something that’ll really get you thinking. I don’t typically read adult novels or books of this type for my own enjoyment, yet I think this is something I’d pick up again just to see what all I missed the first time around.

4/5 stars

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