5 stars · fiction · series

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

author : Holly Black

pages : [hardcover] 432

favorite character : tana &

summary :

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

review :

I’ve been over the entire vampire idea in books for a while but I have to say that Julie Kagawa’s new series involving vampires has given me renewed hope and has kept me from looking down on awesome books just because they happen to have vampires in them. I think that so many people have an aversion to them because of Twilight and similar books. Today I’d like to say that if you’re having that problem, pick up this book and you’ll feel renewed hope for vampire novels everywhere!

First of all, Tana, the main character in this book, doesn’t romanticize vampires at all. Her mother was infected by one when Tana was a little girl and she’s seen firsthand how that changes a person from who she’s known into a blood-craving monster. I do like how this book addresses the inevitable group of people  who do wish to become immortal, beautiful, deadly creatures. With all of this ‘feeds’ coming out of Coldtowns, where they stick all the vampires and infected they can catch, the entire thing is glamorized to the extreme. All aspects of this are addressed in the books.

Second, there is no romance in this book. I repeat, none! Sure, it’s hinted that maybe there could be something in the future books but I love how in this one the main character actually sticks to her plans and doesn’t allow herself to get distracted just because of some guy. All of the characters are great, from the manipulative to the strange to the downright scary. It’s obvious that the vampires aren’t the only things to fear in this book and things aren’t safe even before they reach Coldtown.

There were so many parts of this book that I loved that I can’t even hope to describe them all here without spoiling you completely. Just trust me when I say that you’ll find something to enjoy about this book. It’s such a refreshing voice and story on an idea that’s been overdone and I can’t wait to read more!

5/5 stars

If you like this book, you should read The Immortal Rules

5 stars · Fantasy · fiction · romance · series · young adult

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Shadow and Bone

The Grisha #1

author : leigh bardugo

pages : [hardcover] 356

memorable quote I hate hiding how much the stupid things he did hurt me, but I hated the idea of him finding out even more.

favorite characters : mal & alina

summary :

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

review :

This book starts out quick and ends strong! It was so wonderful that the day after I finished I had to go and start the next book! Shadow and Bone is a fast-paced adventure rolled into a wonderfully built world filled with fantastic, complicated characters. Full of flaws. I love it when characters, even the good guys, aren’t perfect, because it makes them seem so much more realistic and relatable!

I do have to admit that there were a few plot twists that I anticipated in the book as well as a few I never saw coming. The bigger ones were the unexpected ones, thankfully, because I really hate it when I can see most of what’s coming when it’s obvious that the reader isn’t intended to. Surprises are my favorite parts in books most of the time and in something as wonderfully written and well-crafted as this one everything blended together very well.

The characters! Mal had to be my favorite, even though he was the most normal one out of all of them. Maybe that was why. Alina was insensible at some points in the book but I really liked Mal even when his flaws were coming into play. It didn’t hurt that he’s an attractive soldier, the best tracker in the entire country, Alina’s childhood friend, the guy who would do anything for her . . Yeah, he was definitely my favorite. Alina was strong, too, and loyal, though at some times I really disliked her decisions. While she made up for it in the end, I know that I’ll like her character a lot more through the rest of this trilogy (series?) because of the change she’s made in this first book.

Lately many of the fantastical stories I’ve been reading have been good but not great and might have fallen flat. This series not only has great characters, it has a fantastic setting and world to go along with it! It’s one of those books that has a map of the world in the first few pages! I twas so easy to immerse myself in this place and society.

Go read Shadow and Bone as soon as you can! I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.

5/5 stars

If you like this, you might also like Daughter of Smoke and Bone or Poison Study

5 stars · nonfiction

Jane Austen’s World by Maggie Lane


Jane Austen’s World: The Life and Times of England’s Most Popular Author

author : maggie lane

pages : [hardcover] 144

summary :

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one of the world’s most popular novelists, a sharp and witty writer whose stories enchant on their own and in numerous film and TV adaptations. Jane Austen’s World takes a look at the woman behind the literature, revealing her private life and examining the world she inhabited—a time when England was developing into a colonial power, the Napoleonic Wars raged, and the Regency took hold. No other book truly captures Austen’s spirit as well.

review :

I was so excited to read this book! First of all, Jane Austen is a fantastic author and I’ve been trying to read more of her work. Now I’ll be able to read the rest of her novels with all of this background information about her life and the time period that she was living in. I think that this is an important read for any Jane Austen fan or just someone who wants to understand her writing better. Maybe you could read one of her books, read this, and then see what new information you pick up after during a reread of your favorite of her novels.

There’s so much in here that I never really thought about but realize, maybe belatedly, was exceptionally important to the people in that time and thus to the characters she was writing. While of course people enjoy her writing as it is because she still has fans everywhere, there’s so much history and information in Jane Austen’s World that I think it’d be a disservice to her work not to at least be a little informed about how she might have thought before you try to judge her books.

If you’re interested in history, literature, the context in which these books were written in, you most definitely need to look into picking up a copy of this book. It’s an easy but informative read and the layout is just beautiful as well. Filled with wonderful pictures and the only known drawing of Jane Austen, this will look great on your bookshelf and you won’t regret taking a look at this great book!

5/5 stars

5 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · science fiction · series · young adult

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me

Shatter Me #2
Book 1 : Shatter Me

author tahereh mafi

pages : [hardcover] 461

memorable quote “Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.”

favorite characters : adam & kenji

summary :

it’s almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

review :

I have waited so long to read this book! I read Shatter Me last year and it gripped me immediately; I loved the colorful and embellished writing style and couldn’t wait to read more about Juliette and Adam. At the end of book one there are so many exciting revelations that set up the sequel to be much different from what I ever could have imagined it to be when I first started reading. There were so many new, interesting characters to learn about as well as a new villain and, of course, Warner returns.

I love how the writing style has evolved as Juliette changes and grows stronger. It’s less centrally focused as she comes out of her shell and less whimsical as she’s forced to face reality for maybe the first time in her life. She’s found people who might come to accept her if she gives them the chance. I think it’s really brilliant, how Tahereh Mafi manages to pull this off so smoothly and seamlessly and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the plot at all. Unravel Me is more fast-paced than the first book. Now that everything has been set up it’s time for action and I can’t wait to see how that climaxes in the next and final book in the trilogy.

I’ve always had a thing for characters with superpowers, even more so when they’re flawed and the reader really gets to see the changes the character has to make throughout the book. As a rather shy person myself, it’s awesome having a leading lady like Juliette who is often afraid to speak for herself or offer up information even if it’s being asked for or she feels ridiculous for not speaking up. I think that having a person like her as a role model is great; even if she isn’t perfect, it’s easy to see how she’s testing the surface and making her way now as her own person.

I’d recommend this series to anyone! I love the characters so much . . even if the only complaint I have is the whole thing between Warner and Juliette, that I didn’t warm up to until near the end of the book. Other than that this book was as great and gripping as I’d hoped it would be and now I can’t wait to read more!!

5/5 stars

If you love this book, try reading Paranormalcy or The Darkest Minds!


3 stars · classic · fiction

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut


Breakfast of Champion

author : kurt vonnegut

pages : [paperback] 302


In Breakfast of Champions, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, the aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth.

review :


Breakfast of Champions is the second book that I’ve read by Kurt Vonnegut and I have to say that I enjoyed it much more than the first. I think that I was initially turned off to his writing style because of how early I was introduced to his work and the confusing manner in which my teacher attempted to approach the novel. Breakfast of Champions was much more enjoyable, as I could actually begin to understand the intended meaning behind it all and could appreciate the absurdity as well as the criticism embedded within the narrative.

That being said, I still didn’t really enjoy this book and I don’t think that Vonnegut is the author for me. He can be witty and funny, yes, but there is something about his writing style that just doesn’t grab me and really turns me away from his novels. I know that plenty of people love and revere his work and I can see the potential greatness within it, but I know that it’s for other people to find and won’t be for me, ever.

I’d recommend Breakfast of Champions to Kurt Vonnegut fans, people looking for something absurd to read, or people who have nothing better to read. I don’t think I’ll ever pick up a Vonnegut novel on my own.

4 stars · fiction · young adult

The Curiosities by Maggie Stievater, Tessa Gatton, & Brenna Yovanoff

The Curiosities

a collection by maggie stiefvater, tessa gratton, & brenna yovanoff

pages : [hardcover] 304

summary :

From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories.

– A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.
– Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.
– A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream).

These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction.

But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author’s comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors.

So, are you curious now?


I love anthologies, but I think I enjoy more conventional ones than this one about writing and experimental writing. The three authors work together and against each other to create stories that sometimes seem half-finished, because they don’t have the regular polish of editing or a longer period of work. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy this, I just think that I was hoping for something a little more.

I liked the little comments that all three put in each others’ stories as well as their own; that made things more interesting. I also liked the little explanations of how a story came about or what idea the author latched onto that really inspired them to write that story. While not many of them stuck out to me after reading, I could appreciate the writing process and all of the tips throughout the collection. I think that this book would be valuable for anyone who is looking to better their writing or is wondering what to do when they find themselves stuck for ideas or writing that they’ll like.

I really recommend this collection for aspiring writers. Being able to see into the creative process of three writers who’ve already made names for themselves is definitely what makes this unique and useful.

4/5 stars

teaster tuesday

Teaser Tuesday 6-28-11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!

This week’s quote comes from Radiance by Alyson Noel:

And while it may seem weird for a person to look to their dog for guidance, the thing was, Buttercup’s the one that led my family to the bridge. He’s the one that leaped across first. –pg. 57

I’ve had this book for a while, just picked it up, and am really starting to get into it.

Check out the book trailer! :