Archive | April, 2011

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

28 Apr

Impossible

Author: Nancy Werlin

Pages [hardcover]: 384

First Thoughts: The edition I picked up didn’t have much of a summary on it, so I bought it out of intuition alone. Hopefully it will turn out to be as good as I’m thinking it will be. If not, at least it will look pretty sitting on my shelf until I give it away.

Memorable Quote: “We formed the Fellowship of the Ring when we should’ve all just gone on medication.”

Favorite Characters: Zach & Lucy

Summary:

Lucy Scarborough is only 17, but she carries the burden of a curse that has already struck down several women in her family. Each of her afflicted ancestors failed at completing three seemingly impossible tasks, and each succumbed to madness at the birth of her first child. Facing this tragic fate, Lucy braces herself for a losing battle. Mercifully, she has allies in her struggle: intensely sympathetic foster parents and her loyal childhood friend Zach.

Review:

I’m not sure what to think of this novel. After I finished it, I was left content, sure that a good story had just been laid out and neatly wrapped up with interesting characters interspersed throughout the plot. There were touching moments, creepy parts, and times when I couldn’t wait for the puzzle to be solved. But there were also long spaces of time where I wished for something . . . more to happen. It isn’t that Impossible wasn’t good. It just didn’t live up to my expectations.

I’ve run into books like this before. When I was reading it, the writing wasn’t horrible, and it was definitely interesting. But I could easily be torn away from the book by the simplest things. When I read something, I want to hate distractions, and detest whoever makes me get up and do something other than sit there and read on. That’s what bothered me most about this text. It seemed like something I’d use to fill my time when I’d have nothing else to read.

One thing that I noticed was that everything that was really important-such as research into the curse-was rushed into a few paragraphs, while Lucy’s feelings, which were often repeated many times, took up several pages. I liked being able to see inside her character, especially when it wasn’t a first-person book, but there wasn’t enough substance to back it up.

I give Impossible 3/5 stars. It was an okay read that I may or may not give another go. Maybe I didn’t like it so much because I just finished a few amazing books. For now it just didn’t do anything for me.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

27 Apr

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Author: Jessica Day George

Pages [hardcover]: 336

Opening Lines: Long ago and far away in the land of ice and snow, there came a time when it seemed that winter would never end. The months when summer should have given the land respite were cold and damp, and the winter months were snow filled and colder still.

Favorite Characters: Rollo & Hans Peter

Summary:

Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

Review:

I. Loved. This. Book.

I picked it  up at the library because nothing else caught my eye and I’ve read another book by Jessica Day George, Princess of the Midnight Ball. I enjoyed that, so I figured this would be okay enough to tide me over for a while.

I started it yesterday, and could not put it down until it was finished. I loved how it was told with echoes of old fairy tales with a breath of modern tones intertwined. It worked wonderfully for me, and I couldn’t get enough of it! Starting it, I thought I’d be annoyed that the narrator doesn’t have a name-she’s referred to only as ‘the lass’ or ‘pika’-but that only helped the story in the long run.

I could see parts of stories I remember reading long ago retold in this novel, and I liked seeing them through a new light, and with this brave heroine leading the way. One aspect of the book I really enjoyed was that it wasn’t a princess needing to be rescued here, but a prince. She could have easily left him to his fate and returned to her family.

This book surprised me in the best way. The twists and turns it took fit together and kept me on the edge of my seat. I’ll definitely have to read more by this author. This is a book I’ll be thinking about for a long time! I give Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow 5/5 stars.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

26 Apr

Along for the Ride

Author: Sarah Dessen

Pages [hardcover]: 383

Memorable Quote: It was so weird, because usually I was totally nervous talking to guys. But Eli was different. He made me want to say more, not less. Which was maybe not a good thing.

Favorite Characters: Maggie & Auden

Summary:

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Review:

I love all of Sarah Dessen’s books, and this is one of the few that I haven’t read yet. Along for the Ride is as sweet, funny, romantic, and fun as every other novel written by this author.

I really liked how Auden wasn’t the only one who needed her life to change for the better. Eli is still attempting to pick up the pieces of his life, and one summer of sleepless nights with Auden could help him heal. They both rely on each other evenly.

This book didn’t put as much emphasis on the minor characters as others by Sarah Dessen have. Instead, the plot circles around Auden, focusing on the miniscule changes in her life. I like how the reader can see each step of her transformation, even when that step is backwards.

I really enjoyed Along for the Ride and already have another Sarah Dessen book lined up on my to be read pile. I recommend this for any previous fans of her work or anyone looking for a light, fun summer read or romance. I give it 5/5 stars.

Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie

21 Apr

Midnight Pearls: A
Retelling of “The Little Mermaid”

Author: Debbie Viguie

Pages [paperback]: 208

Memorable Quote: How does a whale know when to swim to warmer waters for winter? How do the fish know when a predator is near? How do you know when love is real? You just know.

Favorite Characters: Kale & Faye

Summary:

In a quiet fishing village seventeen years ago, one lone fisherman rescued a child from the sea. He and his wife raised the girl, Pearl, as their own daughter, never allowing themselves to wonder long about where she came from — or notice her silver hair, usually pale skin, and wide, dark blue eyes.

Pearl grows from a mysterious child into an unusual young woman, not always welcomed in the village. As all the other girls her age find husbands, she has only one friend to ease her loneliness. One very special, secret companion: Prince James.

But their friendship is shaken when trouble erupts in the kingdom — a conspiracy against the royal family combines with an evil enchantment from beneath the sea. Now, just when Pearl and James need each other most, bewitching magic and hints about Pearl’s past threaten to tear them apart…forever.

Review:

I love the concept of modern or retold fairy tales, but this one didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would. The plot line was fantastic, and I liked how a new spin was put on The Little Mermaid-definitely one of my favorite classic fairy tales!

The writing style, however, seemed dry and forced, as if attempting to take on the cadence of old tales instead of opting for a new voice. It left me wanting more substance where there was none to be had.

That said, I really liked the point where the action picked up, and James and Pearl’s story seemed turned end over end. Every expectation I held beforehand vanished. What I thought would be an easily predictable ending actually had a few twists in it. The second half of the book was much better than the first.

The characters seemed for the most part flat and unchangeable, even when major events were happening. Some of the decisions they made were not at all rational and seemed out of character.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, but not great. There were no exceptional moments, though there were a few creative spurts that could have been built upon to create a better story. I give Midnight Pearls 2.5/5 stars.

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

20 Apr

 

Happy Birthday to Me

Author: Brian Rowe

Pages [ebook]: 316

Favorite Characters: Kimber & Cameron

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day!

High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game all on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a popular pretty boy who’s never had to face a day looking anything but perfect.

All Cameron wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a mysterious young woman, however, he realizes his only hope for survival might be with the one person who started his condition in the first place…

Review:

 After the first few pages of Happy Birthday to Me, I was sucked into the story. Cameron is such a great character to read about; not quite a bad person, not fully good. His worst faults are selfishness, vanity, and arrogance. Though all three are not uncommon among boys today, they were portrayed in ways that subtly hinted he could be a better person if he actually tried.

Then, of course, he’s cursed to age a year with every day that passes. With that, his life is forever changed.

I loved the writing style of this novel. It was simple diction yet not dull for that, and the plot moved along so quickly I never wanted to stop reading! There were moments when I despised Cameron, moments when I rooted for him, and hilarious times when I wanted to laugh out loud. If a writer can pull you through all of those emotions in a smooth, effortless way, I’m destined to love that book.

And I did fall in love with Happy Birthday to Me. The story was unique as well as interesting-I liked seeing the little changes that came with each passing day. By the end, I was putting aside every other thing I had to do just so I could read the conclusion.

 This is a fantastically fun read that I immensely enjoyed and am sad to see finished. The different elements meshed together in a seamless fashion to form a great young adult novel. It’s definitely one of the better books I’ve read lately. I highly recommend Happy Birthday to Me, and give it 5/5 stars.

Blog Tour: Two Moon Princess; Tens List & Giveaway!

14 Apr

Today I’m excited and delighted to welcome Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban to the blog! She was kind enough to tell me her top 10 places to read a book [as well as some not so great places to read].

 

 

 

Top 10 Places to Read a Book:
 
Here are five places to read a book (for your enjoyment) and five places where NOT to read a book (for your safety).
Five places to read a book
1. On the beach
2. On an airplane
3. On the park, at lunch time
4. At a Cafe, while drinking an espresso
5. On your favorite sofa, by the window
 
Five places where NOT to read a book
1. On the back of a motorcycle (too much wind).
2. Under the desk when your teacher is speaking (teachers are very narcissistic; they like their students to listen to them).
3. Waiting for a bus (You may get too engrossed in the story and miss the bus).
4. While climbing a mountain (you can run into a bear and he can steal your book).
5. While cooking (You may get distracted and burn your food).

Thank you so much Carmen! I would hate to read in the mountains now; you never know when those mischievous bears will take your books!

Want to win a copy of Two Moon Princess? All you need to do is comment below, and leave an email address! I’ll choose one winner with Random.org.

-US only!
-+1 entry for tweeting/blogging/sharing-must provide link!
-+1 if you’re a follower!

Good luck to all who enter! Two Moon Princess is a great book-I hope you’ll enjoy it too!
Giveaway ends at midnight on April 20th.

Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon

12 Apr

Invincible

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Chronicles of Nick #2
Book 1: Infinity

Pages [hardcover]: 420

Opening Lines: They say when you’re about to die, you see your entire life flash before your eyes. They lied.

Memorable Quote:
I’m too young, too smart and too good-looking to die.

First Thoughts: I really enjoyed the first book, Infinity, and luckily my library had the sequel-on the day it was released! Thank goodness for public libraries!

Favorite Characters: Nick & Bubba

Summary:

Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them…

Review:

I finished this book in just a few days. I was incredibly happy to see that my library had it on the day it was released! That’s way I love public libraries.

The characters in this sequel were as fascinating and funny as they were in Infinity. Once again it was hard to keep track of all of them, but I did find it easier as time went on. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m confident I’ll know everyone by the time the next book is released.

I really can’t wait to read more of this series. I just put the book down half an hour ago, and already I’m itching for more. I’ll have to read The Dark-Hunters series, the original series, and see if that is as wonderful as I’m hoping it will be.

Nick is as sarcastic as ever in Invincible. I love his comebacks and remarks-even if they do get him in trouble with his mother. I like how he stays true to himself, even if that happens to put him in greater danger. I think he’s a great teen lead and can’t wait to see him continue to grow.

I give Invincible 5/5 stars. I ended up liking it even more than the first book of the Chronicles of Nick.

Two Moon Princess Blog Tour-Book Review

9 Apr


Two Moon Princess

Author: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Pages: [paperback] 324

Favorite Characters
: Andrea & Don Julian

Summary:

In this coming-of-age story set in a medieval kingdom, Andrea is a headstrong princess longing to be a knight who finds her way to modern-day California. But her accidental return to her family’s kingdom and a disastrous romance brings war, along with her discovery of some dark family secrets. Readers will love this mix of traditional fantasy elements with unique twists and will identify with Andrea and her difficult choices between duty and desire.

Review:

I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Two Moon Princess. This book really takes the idea of a stubbornly indendent main character and spins it in a unique way that had me addicted, especially during the second half of the book.

Andrea doesn’t want to have anything to do with being a lady, or the girly aspects of her station. I loved reading about her attempts to prove herself to her parents, and her efforts to be true to herself, no matter what others expected of her. She stuck to her convictions even if she risked offending royalty.

Though the book seemed a bit slow in the beginning, it quickly picked up pace until I was flying through the pages at the finish. The contrast between modern day California and the more medieval world that Andrea lives in was nicely portrayed. I liked how the entire concept of crossing between worlds was intrduced, and that the routes of Andrea’s people were tied into this.

Another great aspect of the book is that it is not a love story at its foremost. It seems that every single novel I read is centered around romance, and this was a welcome break. Andrea is a fierce, loyal lead character that definitely struck a chord with me. I can’t wait to read more about her and the rest of the cast of characters.

I give Two Moon Princess 4/5 stars.

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!
On April 14, Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban will visit the blog and there will also be a giveaway!

Monday, April 4: Amber Clark at Page Turners (Guest Post)
Tuesday, April 5: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Character Interview: Andrea)
Wednesday, April 6: Melissa at Mel’s Books and Info (Review)
Thursday, April 7: Britta at I Like These Books (Tens List)
Friday, April 8: Amy at Reading Teen (Author Interview)
Saturday, April 9: Kayla at Caught Between The Pages (Review)

Sunday, April 10: Diana at Books By Their Story (When I’m Not Writing)
Monday, April 11: Michelle at See Michelle Read (Author Interview)
Tuesday, April 12: Page at One Book At A Time (Review)
Wednesday, April 13: Gail at Ticket To Anywhere (This or That List: Carmen)
Thursday, April 14: Kayla at Caught Between The Pages (Tens List)
Friday, April 15: Lexie at Poisoned Rationality (Review)
Saturday, April 16: Page at One Book At A Time (Cover Interview)

Sunday, April 17: Britta at I Like These Books (Review)
Monday, April 18: Nicole at WORD For Teens (Into the Past)
Tuesday, April 19: Melissa at Mel’s Books and Info (Character Interview: Julian)
Wednesday, April 20: Elizabeth at Swords For Fighting (This or That List: Andrea)
Thursday, April 21: Michelle at See Michelle Read (Review)
Friday, April 22: Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century (Author Interview)
Saturday, April 23: Kathryn at Beastie Books (Tens List)

Sunday, April 24: Nicole at WORD For Teens (Review)
Monday, April 25: Nicole at Books Complete Me (Character Tweets)
Tuesday, April 26: Kate at The Neverending Shelf (Author Interview)
Wednesday, April 27: Diana at Books By Their Story (Review)
Thursday, April 28: Christie at The Fiction Enthusiast (Tens List)
Friday, April 29: Emily at Emily’s Reading Room (This or That List: Julian)
Saturday, April 30: Amy at Reading Teen (Review)

You by Charles Benoit

7 Apr

You

Author: Charles Benoit

Pages [hardcover]: 223

Memorable Quote: “There’s always a but. It’s a magical word. You can say anything you want, go on for as long as you want, and then all you have to do is add the magic word and instantly everything you said is erased, turned meaningless, just like that.”

First Thoughts: You has such an original concept-I’ve never read a book written in 2nd person before. That alone has me interested, and hopefully there’s a gripping plot to go along with it.

Favorite Characters: Kyle & Paige

Summary:

This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go.

You’re just a typical fifteen-year-old sophomore, an average guy named Kyle Chase. This can’t be happening to you. But then, how do you explain all the blood? How do you explain how you got here in the first place?

There had to have been signs, had to have been some clues it was coming. Did you miss them, or ignore them? Maybe if you can figure out where it all went wrong, you can still make it right. Or is it already too late? Think fast, Kyle. Time’s running out. How did this happen?

You is the riveting story of fifteen-year-old Kyle and the small choices he does and doesn’t make that lead to his own destruction.

Review:

This. Book. Is. Fantastic.

I don’t think that’s a big enough adjective to describe how I feel about You. First of all, I love that it’s written in second person. As stated above, I’ve never read a book in this point of view before, and it was a fabulous experience. The reader views every other character through Kyle’s-your-eyes, sees events the way Kyle and you want to see them, and you mix up your life one decision at a time.

Kyle is in no way perfect, and his character is definitely exaggerated a bit. But as a teenager, I do think that there are many like him out there: Those that feel they have to go along with whatever image people give them, those that are bored by useless information in school, those that are afraid to ask a girl out even when they’ve been talking to her for months. He’s as realistic as you and me. And like us, he doesn’t realize his mistakes until it’s too late to change anything.

The writing in this novel was very simple, but held with elegance, and I flew through the pages, finishing this in about a day. When I read the last lines, I went back and read the last segment again-You isn’t seperated into chapters-and was left with the same impact. This ending and I have a love/hate relationship. It is perfect for the book, and for that I adore it. But I also want, in exactly defining terms, to know what was going to happen. I suppose I’ll have to decide for myself.

You is a wonderful book full of teenage anger-management issues, peer pressure, manipulative friends, hard choices, and the consequences of those decisions. I think that everyone should give it a chance; I wished I owned this book, because I’d read it over and over again. I think everyone that reads You will take something different away from it, which adds to the appeal. I give this book 5/5 stars.

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

4 Apr

Tyger Tyger

Author:
Kersten Hamilton

Pages [hardcover]: 322

Goblin Wars #1

Memorable Quote: “Isn’t the Almighty always saying something, girl? Speaking through everything created, whispering in your hopes and dreams. Urging you to get on with business?”

Favorite Characters: Finn & Aiden

Summary:

Teagan Wylltson’s best friend, Abby, dreams that horrifying creatures–goblins, shape-shifters, and beings of unearthly beauty but terrible cruelty–are hunting Teagan. Abby is always coming up with crazy stuff, though, so Teagan isn’t worried. Her life isn’t in danger. In fact, it’s perfect. She’s on track for a college scholarship. She has a great job. She’s focused on school, work, and her future. No boys, no heartaches, no problems.
     Until Finn Mac Cumhaill arrives. Finn’s a bit on the unearthly beautiful side himself. He has a killer accent and a knee-weakening smile. And either he’s crazy or he’s been haunting Abby’s dreams, because he’s talking about goblins, too . . . and about being The Mac Cumhaill, born to fight all goblin-kind. Finn knows a thing or two about fighting. Which is a very good thing, because this time, Abby’s right. The goblins are coming.

Review:

I wish that I could write every character’s name down as my favorite. Kersten Hamilton is fantastic at creating diverse personalities and implementing them throughout the book, adding hilarity as well as a sense of realism to a plot filled with goblins, curses, and chaos.

I wasn’t sure if I’d ever like a book with goblins in it, but I know that I love books that take old legends and twist them into a modern plot. I’ve never heard much about Irish tales, and Ms. Hamilton explains in the author’s note that she’s changed much to fit in with the story, but I adore when things of legend are taken in a realistic way.

I actually started to read this quite some time ago, liked it but couldn’t get into it, and then started re-reading it two days ago. I was so captivated, I couldn’t put it down! I think it was just my earlier mindset that prevented me from enjoying this novel. Tyger Tyger had me immediately flipping the pages to see what would happen next!

Most YA books contain some ounce of romance, and this book is no different on that account. But what I especially liked was that nothing was rushed. Teagan has her own goals in life and doesn’t want a relationship to stand in her way, and Finn won’t pressure her into having something more between them. It was a pleasure to read about two wonderfully defined characters both caring for each other and at the same time thinking for themselves.

Though at times there were so many different characters in a scene my head could barely retain all of them, Tyger Tyger is one of the better fantasy books I’ve read lately. I’m glad to see that there will be a sequel In the Forest of the Night, set to come out in October. Much too long of a wait! I’ll be counting the days. I give this novel 5/5 stars and recommend it for any YA or fantasy fan, or anyone who’d love to read about goblins and folklore.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 423 other followers

%d bloggers like this: