5 stars · fiction · romance · young adult

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby

author : Sarah Dessen [also wrote: That Summer, Along for the Ride, Lock and Key,
What Happened to Goodbye and The Truth About Forever]

pages : [paperback] 345

memorable quote :

“Wherever you will go,
I will let you down,
But this lullaby goes on.”

favorite characters : dexter & remy

summary :

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about?

review :

I love Sarah Dessen and her books! This is a reread for me, but I’d completely forgotten everything about the plot and characters apart from what I saw on the back of the book. That’s what I like about these novels; I can return to them time and time again with a fresh outlook, the newest version of me, and still take something great away from it.

Above all else, I love the characters. Remy doesn’t think that love exists, she’s convinced most of her friends of this, and when she might start changing, she stops that right in its tracks. Dexter is just as stubbornly set in his personality, two parts goofy, two parts sweet, all parts clumsy. For the most part they’re complete opposites and I love seeing characters like that clashing in books like this.

While there was nothing spectacularly original about the setting, I’m still loving the fact that all of Sarah Dessen’s books intertwine. I like looking for the little similarities and seeing what might be the same as something in another book or what background character might play the starring role in another book. It’s like a young adult scavenger hunt.

While I don’t think that This Lullaby is my favorite Sarah Dessen novel, it’s still one of the top ones and I love it so, so much. I think now it’s a given for me to read at least one of her books during the summer. Although it does have the typical romance that usually fills such books, it also has a more serious note, isn’t such a lighthearted story, and bears a great message within its pages.

5/5 stars

5 stars · Fantasy · fiction · romance · series

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen

Author: Julie Kagawa

Pages [paperback]: 358

Book 3 in the Iron Fey Series
Book 1: The Iron King 
Book 2: The Iron Princess

Favorite Characters: Grim & Puck

Memorable Quote: “But, as no one listens to the cat anymore, I will have to wait until we are completely lost to say ‘I told you so.”

Summary:

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

Review:

Every book I read in this series makes me love it even more. The characters are awesome, the plot fantastic, and the entire thing is highly addicting. As soon as I started reading The Iron Queen, I couldn’t put it down. It was non-stop action, romance, and humor. Puck would have me laughing one moment, then Meghan would be in a battle, keeping me on the edge of my seat. I never knew what was going to come next, and I loved that.

I’m Team Puck all the way. He’s adorable, and loveable in every way. The Iron Queen did make me like Ash a lot more-not that I didn’t like him as a character beforehand, but it took until this third installment for me to think of him as someone worthy of rivaling Puck.

I don’t mind books that don’t seem to have any filler space in them, no scenes that sound randomly placed and useless. However, a few points of the novel seemed rushed and not thoroughly explained. I would have liked for things to slow down a bit, just to give me a chance to get used to whatever happened or was going to happen. This didn’t annoy me enough to detract from my enjoyment, it’s just something that I noticed about the book.

The Iron Fey series is one of my all time favorites, and I’m so excited for the fourth book. I didn’t even know there would be another until I reached the end of this one, and that killed me. I can’t stand the wait. I’ve never been the most patient person, and this definitely doesn’t help. But I get to see more of my favorite characters, and that makes it worth it!

The Iron Queen is an awesome book that I really recommend. This is a great series, and the best that focuses on fairies that I’ve ever read. I give this third book 5/5 stars. It was amazing!

fiction · romance · science fiction · series · young adult

Code Name Cassandra by Meg Cabot

Code Name Cassandra

Author: Meg Cabot [also wrote Avalon High, Size 12 is Not Fat, and Airhead]

Pages [paperback]: 272

Available now!

Book 2 of the 1-800-Where-R-U series
Book 1: When Lightning Strikes

Opening Lines: I don’t know why I’m doing this. Writing this down, I mean. It’s not like anybody is making me. Not this time.

Memorable Quote: “Didn’t your mother ever tell you,” Rob asked, “that you’re supposed to play hard to get?”

Favorite Character: Rob

Summary:

JESS MASTRIANI

was dubbed “Lightning Girl” by the press when she developed a psychic ability to find missing children after she was struck by lightning during a huge storm. Now Jess has lost her miraculous powers…or at least she would like the media and the government to think so. All she wants is to be left alone.

But it doesn’t look like Jess is going to get her wish — especially not while working at a summer camp for musically gifted kids. When the father of a missing girl shows up to beg Jess to find his daughter, Jess can’t say no. Now the Feds are on her tail again, as is one ornery stepdad, who’d like to see Lightning Girl…well, dead.

Review

Meg Cabot has made me fall in love with yet another one of her books. Taking up just after book one, When Lightning Strikes, lets off, Code Name Cassandra reintroduces the cast of characters. This time, it’s summer, and Jess is looking forward to weeks of french-braiding little girls’ hair, lounging by the pool, and hanging out with her best friend, Ruth.

Of course, for a girl who can figure out where lost children are when she falls asleep, things don’t always go exactly according to plan.

I love the concept of this series, and can’t wait to read on. The only negative thing I can think of is that the action slacked off a little just before the climax. I didn’t really think much more was going to happen, then BAM!, the plot twisted! That definitely made me love the book 100% more-just as soon as I was fearing it would turn out mediocre, it pulled a complete 180 and was fantastic.

I love Jess-she’s so headstrong, and knows how to work for what she wants. She doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and considers rules optional. Though she may be a bit extreme when it comes to anger management, I think there definitely need to be more female characters like her. Independent, working for what they want. I like her as a role model, if you can take just the good parts of her personality.

I give Code Name Cassandra a whole-hearted 5/5 stars. I loved it, and can’t wait to read the third book in this series!

action · Fantasy · fiction · series · young adult

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero
The Heroes of Olympus #1
Book 2: The Son of Neptune

Author: Rick Riordan [also wrote the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, along with The Red Pyramid]

Pages [hardcover]: 553

Memorable Quote: “Can we just call them storm spirits?” Leo asked. “Venti makes them sound like evil espresso drinks.”

Favorite Characters: Leo & Jason

Available now!

Book 1 in the Heroes of Olympus series!

Summary:

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?
Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.
Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god.
Join new and old friends from Camp Half-Blood in this thrilling first  book in The Heroes of Olympus series.

Review:

I’ve had this book on my TBR pile ever since it was released, but never got around to reading it until last week. I’m not sure why-maybe because I knew I’d have to wait another year for book 2 to come out? That’s probably it. Because now I’ll be tortured by the immense amount of time between now and next fall.

This book had me from the start. Jason, an amnesiac turned hero, wakes to find himself on a bus, surrounded by people he doesn’t recognize, going to who knows where. His memories are gone; he doesn’t even remember his last name.

Some old faces are back, Annabeth and Thalia included. It was nice to get a mix of the old and the new, spicing it up a little while not completely letting go of the characters that made me love Camp Half-Blood in the first place.

Once I finally started reading, I couldn’t stop. Like the Percy Jackson series, the entire book is an adventure, filled with marvelous villians, unexpected plot twists, and quotes worth rolling on the floor laughing for. I love Mr. Riordan’s sense of humor; it’s one of the things that first attracted me to the series. I wanted to read more of that.

While I’m furious at the wait, I’m delighted by this book. It’s crazy and awesome (crawsome?), funny and sad, sweet and sour. It has a little bit of everything, all mixed up into one delicious novel. I can’t wait to read more about these characters, their quest, and Camp Half-Blood. I give The Lost Hero 5/5 stars. If you haven’t read it, you’re definitely missing out.

fiction · romance · young adult

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever

Author: Sarah Dessen

Pages [paperback]: 374

Available now!

Memorable Quote: “You know, feeling and action are always linked, one can’t exist without the other. It’s sort of a hippie thing.”

Favorite Characters: Delia & Wes

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about, the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

Review:

I absolutely adore Sarah Dessen’s books. I think this is my fifth or sixth one, and I haven’t come across I haven’t loved yet! I’m never really impressed by the summaries on the back covers [I have no idea why!] but the characters, the dialouge, the funny little quirks that make the book unique, all add up to something amazing and memorable.

 Truthfully, I wanted to bop Macy on the head sometimes and tell her what she was doing wrong with her life. Sure, I was rooting for her the entire time, but she understandably has a hard time making life choices.

I love Delia’s chaos-on-wheels, Wes’s “dark and mysterious, tortured artist” look he’s got working for him, Burt’s end of the world fascination, Monotone’s “Mmmhmm”s and “Doneven”s, and Caroline’s fanatic fascination with Wes’s artwork. These little components all work together to create a great whole, which happens with every Sarah Dessen book. It’s one of the reasons I love these. 😀

Everyone has speed bumps in their lifetime, like a death in the family. Macy has to deal with her father’s death, and I think anyone can take something away from this. We all have different ways of grieving, but some people just need a little help along the way.

The Truth About Forever gets 5/5 stars. I definitely recommend it! It deals with grief, romance, and humor. All in all, a great young adult book.

Fantasy · fiction · romance · young adult

The Iron Princess by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter
Sequel to The Iron King
Book 2 in the Iron Fey series

Author: Julie Kagawa

Pages [ebook]: 361

Available Now!

Read online with NetGalley

Opening Lines: The Iron King stood before me, magnificent in his beauty, silver hair whipping about like an unruly waterfall. His long black coat billowed behind him, accenting the pale, angular face and translucent skin, the blue-green veins glowing beneath the surface.

Memorable Quote: “You’re here, and the only dance I want is this one.”

Favorite Characters: Puck and Charles

Summary:

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is a prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron Fey, iron-bound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan’s own fey powers have been cut off. She’s alone in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can’t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Review:

I am in love with this series! I’ve only recently dove into the many YA series that deal with fairies [actually, the review I’m posting tomorrow is on another fairy book]. The Iron Princess, which picks up  where The Iron King left off, tells more about the world of the Nevernever and leaves the reader begging for more. Unfortunately, the third book, The Iron Queen, doesn’t hit stores until February 2011.

Meghan is trapped by Mab, the Winter queen. Ash is ignoring her, Oberon can’t help her, and the Winter fey unanimously want her dead or worse. Left to her own devices, Meghan can only hope that she’ll survive the ordeal, and won’t be turned into a living ice sculpture.

In this novel, there are red-eyed iron horses, gremlins that live in iPods, and a world between this one and the Nevernever. As the tension builds between the Winter and Summer armies, will Meghan be able to prove that the real threat is the Iron fey? Or will all of the ‘old faeries’ soon become extinct?

Filled with battle scenes, romance, and several pages of quote-worthy wit, The Iron Princess is a book you defintiely have to check out. I give it 5/5 stars.

Fantasy · fiction · romance · young adult

“Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater

“Shiver”

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Pages [Hardcover]: 390

Available in stores now!

Opening Lines: I can remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in.

Memorable Quote: Hope hurt more than the cold

Favorite Character: Beck

Summary:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human … until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Review:

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while, because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I have to say that I was mildly disappointed. The main characters, Sam and Grace, tell the story through alternating points of view. A definite plus, because the reader gets a look at the werewolf life versus the human life. But they don’t seem very fully developed, and there were some parts of the story where I sat back and asked myself how that could have possibly happened. I seriously think I missed a few pages…Or chapters…

The ending really saved it for me. The last forty pages or so were action packed and kept me interested, unlike the beginning.

Throughout the novel Grace mentions her friends Rachel and Olivia. These seem like the only two friends she has, and when Sam comes along, she drops them to cling to him 24/7. Not very loyal. Rachel and Olivia only pop up when convenient for the plot, casually vanishing into the background at all other times.

I know the sequel is coming out soon. Sometime next month, I think. I might borrow it from the library, or a friend, just to see what will happen. Not worth purchasing, however.

‘Shiver’ gets 2/5 stars from me.

what are you reading monday

What are you Reading Monday 6-21

This week, I read:

Blue Noon-Scott Westerfeld
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac-Gabrielle Zevin
Wicked Lovely-Melissa Marr
The Third Eye-Lois Duncan
Shade-Jeri-Smith Ready

I’m hoping to finish A Conspiracy of Kings, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twisted.

Summer is officially here! Friday was my last day of school, but it still feels as though I’m being tricked and they’ll yank me back there any day now. I’ll have more time to read and update, but I also have four summer raeding books. The perils of taking an advanced class.

What plans do you all have for summer vacation?

Randomness

The Mathematics of Heat…Or Not

So I’m sitting here in my nice, cool, air-conditioned basement [where I rarely venture-I actually just scared my mom, as she didn’t expect me to be down here]. Today in school, however, was a different story.

My school is, in fact, amazing, in most points. I love it there. Really. No lie. But the one, most important, most terrible thing about it?

No. Air. Conditioning.

In 90 degree weather!

Don’t know about you, but it’s plenty hard for me to concentrate when I’m sweating and feeling pretty blah. Even the teachers feel the same-one plus about this is that most [MOST-my trig teacher insists on continuing] teachers are slowing the lessons down, just as unbearably hot as we are.

It doesn’t help that we have to wear uniforms. Pulling on tights after an hour outside for gym class? The hardest thing you’ll ever do.

School – air conditioning = Nightmare

No AC + impossible to ever install it? = Insanity

The way the school is designed, we’ll never get it.

So. The point of this post was to tell you all that it might be slow posting for a while. Slowing melting all day long is affecting my brain, I think.

But good news! I’ve had amazingly fantastic luck lately and have won 3 new ARCs [now the mailman just has to hurry up]. Look for those reviews in the next few weeks.

fiction · romance · young adult

“The Last Song” by Nicholas Sparks

“The Last Song”

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Pages [Paperback]: 463

Available now

Opening Lines: Staring out her bedroom window, Ronnie wondered whether Pastor Harris was already at the church.

Memorable Quote: As far as I can tell, dumping soda on people is the equivalent of ‘Hi, it’s nice to meet you’ in this part of the world. Frankly, I think standard greetings work better, but what do I know?

Favorite Character: Will

Summary:

Ronnie is being forced to spend the summer with her father, even though she hasn’t seen or spoken to him in the three years its been since he left her family. Ronnie loves it in New York-the parties, her friends, getting into trouble. But what if this summer can bring new beginnings? What if her life could actually change, and she could learn to love again?

Review:

I borrowed this book from my friend, after she told me how great it was. I have to say that I agree with her. Nicholas Sparks is a great author, and I love his books. Especially since the movie just came out [not that I’ll see it-I’m not a big Miley Cyrus fan] I thought I’d better read this book.
I liked how Ronnie wasn’t perfect. She’d made mistakes in the past and continued to make mistakes throughout the book. This isn’t one of those I-think-I’ll-suddenly-change-my-whole-personality books.
Her little brother, Jonah, sounds so adorable. I’d really like to meet the little guy.
Will wasn’t perfect either, a definite plus. I don’t know how to describe it, but Nicholas Sparks has a way with characters. They were easy to pictures and I could almost hear their voices in my head-a definite plus for any book.
I’ve been trying to think of some negative comment to add, but I honestly can’t think of one. Get ready for a tear-jerker ending, though.
“The Last Song” gets a definite 5/5 stars.
This is also a book for my current challenge, What’s in a Word? This makes 2/6. Check it out, top right.
Have you read/want to read The Last Song? Think I should read any more books by Nicholas Sparks? Did you see the movie? Comment below!