Saturday, March 31, 2012

13 to Life by Shannon Delany

13 to Life (13 to Life #1) by Shannon Delany

YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Rating: 5 Stars

Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town.
It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid.

First Thoughts: Another gift from the St. Martin's crew. The cover is so dark I love it. I especially love the tribal marks on the binding. Even though the synopsis was kind of small, it got right to the point and just pulled you in.

Writing Style: I think why I love YA so much is because it's easy to read and it's filled with so much drama to keep you interested. I loved Shannon's voice and have no complaints.

Characters: Jessica is a fantastic character. She is a sweet person and can't hold a grudge. I don't think I could ever do what she does with her "friend" Sarah. I can't even imagine me in that situation and have it playing out in that same way. I would probably hate Sarah for the rest of my life. Pietr is what bugs me though. He allowed himself to get in that position of having a girlfriend and wanting to be with Jess. If he was smart, he wouldn't have done that and kept trying to get with her.

Final Thoughts: I am in love with this book. I am literally glaring at my bookcase for not producing the next in the series (wouldn't that be cool if it did?). No worries, the next book will cross my path one of these days and I will go nuts. The storyline got me thinking so much and that is why I couldn't put it down. That and the mystery of the whole thing. I recommend this book to everyone.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker #1) by Jenna Black

YA Fantasy

Rating: 3 Stars

It's all she's ever wanted to be, but it couldn't be further from her grasp...

Dana Hathaway doesnt know it yet, but shes in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides shes had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl, she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she'll never have a chance with...until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn't sure where she'll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again.

First Thoughts: I love this cover! It's so beautiful and mysterious. I like this idea of the world knowing that the faeries and magical creatures exist. In fact it seems like they coexist to a certain extent. I think a lot of teens can relate to that first part of the synopsis, parents with an alcohol problem. I know I sure did.

Writing Style: I don't think I have any real big complaints in this section except it took me forever to just fall into the story. The only parts I really got into it was the parts with action in it. I just felt like all the other things that happen were trying to hard. The voice is missing for me too. I felt like this wans't a sixteen year old talking. I know that she had to grow up fast but teenagers still sound like teenagers.

Characters: I instantly sympathized for the character. I have never had a drunk relative embarrass me like that so I didn't know how exactly she felt but Jenna did pretty well in making her problems seem plausible and real. I didn't fall for Ethan though. I honestly don't like the 'too good for you' kind of guys. Every sentence about him reeked of self obsorbtion. Her father is just as bad. He choses not lie to her but he still treats her like a child. It's like he is flipping a switch in the relationship. I definatly disliked him more when I read the ending.

Final Thoughts: This book was good but I wouldn't call it amazing. I loved that Jenna created this world that intertwined with the human world. It's really interesting to think about. No matter what I liked about it I just couldn't fall into it like I have with other books. To me it didn't feel like a young adult book and I felt like I had to force my way through it. I don't like that feeling. I will probably read the next one though because I hate leaving stories that have an even bigger ending. I'm addicted to series, what can I say?

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Wake by Amanda Hocking

Wake (Watersong #1) by Amanda Hocking

YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 Stars

Amanda Hocking takes you deep into a new world with the first book in the Watersong series.
Beautiful. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Thea, and Lexi have caught everyone's attention, including the eye of practical Harper. But it's her sister, Gemma, they've chosen to be part of their group.
Sixteen-year-old Gemma seems to have it all - carefree, pretty, and falling in love with the boy next door. But her greatest passion has always been the water. She craves late night swims under the stars, where she can be alone yet belong to the sea. Lately she's had company. Penn, Thea, and Lexi spend their nights dancing, singing, and partying on the cove--and one night Gemma joins them. When she wakes up groggy on the beach the next morning, she knows something has changed.
Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. As she uncovers the truth about her new mythical powers, Gemma is forced to choose between staying with those she loves or entering a dark world brimming with unimaginable secrets.

First Thoughts: Amanda Hocking has been making such an impression lately. I was glad I got this one because I was going to go get it anyway. The synopsis is just so mysterious and creepy. The cover is beautiful and it fits well with the synopsis.

Writing Style: I actually prefer this writing style for Amanda than the one in the Trylle Trilogy. You can tell that from being in the point of view she is she sets the stage for the next novel which I can tell already is going to be amazing.

Characters: Harper is my favorite. She is strong and independent. She stands up for her family and takes care of them. She reminds me a bit of myself which is why I think I connect with her so much. Gemma is a great character but I liked Harper more. I loved the way Gemma was described when it came to her feelings in the water. It makes you just fall into it and really it makes me wish summer would get here faster so I could go swimming at grandma's.

Final Thoughts: I love this book. The one thing I hate about ARC's is that I have to wait longer to read the next one. When I first read the synopsis and as I read the book I could have sworn this book was about mermaids. I don't hate mermaids but I found myself thinking, "how dangerous could these girls be?" I remember the merpeople from Harry Potter and they could be pretty horrible if you agitated them. Amanda did a great job creating another world just like she did with Trylle.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins

YA Fantasy Dystopia

Rating: 4 Stars

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains - except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay - no matter what the personal cost.

Instead of just repeating the same thing over and over again I am just doing two categories for this one.

Characters: This is unbelievable. The characters have all gone completely nuts. But that's the point isn't it? They are in a war, being attacked, people are dying, and some are being held hostage and tortured. I sympathized with every character and the way Suzanne wrote through Katniss' head it just screamed insane. She was a little messed up the entire novel. Peeta was the only one I could deal with though. I love the ending for them. Gale was the one I was disappointed with. Katniss may have changed but the way Gale changed made him lose what he had. Can you tell Suzanne got me all wrapped in this novel?

Final Thoughts: That was a horrible, horrible book! It was so horrible it was awesome. All that drama and each horrible thing that happened made it into an amazing story. The reason I called it horrible was that she could come up with all those terrible things people do to each other. Thing is people do terrible things to each other every day and this book just makes you want to squash it all out and hope people will change and actually start to care for each other. This entire series was amazing and I can't wait to see how they bring this series to life on the big screen.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cathing Fire by Suzanne Collins

Cathing Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins

YA Fantasy Dystopia

Rating: 5 Stars

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before... and surprising readers at every turn.

First Thoughts: As soon as I was done with The Hunger Games I put the jacket back on and shoved it in the box and immediately took out Catching Fire. The cover follows the same pattern of the first one with the Mockingjay, perfect representation of the books. I didn't even need to read the synopsis to want to read this but it is good and if someone picks it up they would definitely be interested in picking up the first book if they hadn't already.

Writing Style: The writing is pretty much the same as my first review. Still no complaints.

Characters: Katniss is still Katniss. She didn't let the Hunger Games destroy who she was and ends up fighting for her life as well as the people she loves again. This time it's more towards them than towards herself, she already considers herself marked for death and doesn't want to bring anyone down with her. She is courageous and strong. I love Peeta in this one more than the first. He knows the truth now but continues to stand by her side. No matter what happened in the first book he still loves her and will risk his life to save her.

Final Thoughts: Not as fantastic as the first one but it was still pretty awesome. I never expected all that to happen. I am still just thinking about it and just reeling. I can see why this series became such a hit and i can't wait to read the last one to see how all this comes together.

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins

YA Fantasy Dystopia

Rating: 5 Stars

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

First Thoughts: For years this book has been on my radar but I just never could get it. Many of my blog friends have read it and it was just there but I never got to. With the movie coming out and how excited I am for that I finally just bought a box set and got down to business. I have been hearing a million good things about this book so I really expect it to be that good. The thing I love about this is the simple cover. It's simple but it is everything for the book. I love it when the covers actually make sense.

Writing Style: I have literally no complaints on the writing by Suzanne. I immediately fell into the story and connected and sympathized with the novel. Suzanne has created this world that I can't even believe could exist with the life we live now. She is so good at making it real you realize how lucky we actually are.

Characters: Katniss is a very cool character. The only thing I dislike about her is the fact she can play people very easily. I think she thinks she's playing them when she's really not. She may claim she doesn't love Peeta, but I know she does. The only reason she is confused about it is because she also loves Gale. Gale is a reminder of the old life, the one where things were normal and she would never come across Peeta. But things aren't normal anymore so I don't know where that is all going to go.

Final Thoughts: Freaking amazing! I have not felt the way towards a book like this since the first time I started reading Harry Potter. It's been a very long time. In no way is this like Harry Potter but to me it is by the feelings this book gives me, the anticipation I feel when I finish to just move on to the next one. The good thing is that this series is already over so I don't have to wait for the next one, I just have to walk over to my bookcase. I was already excited for the movie but now I am even more excited since I read the book and know what's going on. Sixteen days seems too far away.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fated by Alyson Noel

Fated (The Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noel

YA Fantasy

Rating: 4 Stars

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she's never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she's encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she'll get to know her grandmother-a woman who recognizes Daire's bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers-but it's an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace's brother is an evil shape-shifter who's out to steal her powers. Now Dair must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one one guy she's meant to be with...or if he's allied with the enemy she's destined to destroy.

First Thoughts: Really? Who wouldn't just fall in love with this cover? It is just brilliant! I was excited fro this series from the beginning and when I got it from St. Martin's I went nuts! The synopsis just draws you in. I have never heard of a Soul Seeker and it really got me interested in finding out what exactly that was and what that would make the story to be.

Writing Style: I have to say the writing style in the Immortal Series was a little bit easier to deal with than this one. The size of the words on the pages just seemed really small like they packed so much in. The only good thing about that is they packed in a lot of the good things like imagery and descriptions that seemed necessary. Not overdoing it.

Characters: Daire is a neat character to fall into. She's strong from the beginning because her mother made her that way but she just didn't have the courage. That would come from the sitting on the sidelines and being treated like crap by the "superstars" around her. Alyson did really well in building this character and showing us how she became who she is. I would like to see more of Dace though. This is obviously about Daire and how she fits into this new life but I know he is important to the story yet we didn't get much from him.

Final Thoughts: I loved the book. It was very exciting and very interesting. I may not know exactly what a Seeker is yet but that could have been done purposely so we grow with Daire and not know all the answers. I have to admit though I am liking this book better than the Immortal Series, way better. Cannot wait for the next one.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Magical March Reading Challenge!

I have been in this blogger world for awhile now and I noticed something that book blogs did that I was interested in doing but just didn't have the time for. That would be reading challenges. So I have decided I will finally just go ahead and do one.

The timing all works out for me for March. I got a pile of books from St. Martin's to read and why not make it a little more intersting? Some of them don't fit in this challenge but oh well, I still have a TBR pile that just keeps growing so I will be attacking that too.

So here it goes! I am joining the Magical March reading challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader. I am aiming for at least 4 books so I am aiming for Sorcerer's Class. These are the books that I have that fit in this challenge and are hoping to get through, not in any specific order:

1. Hunger Games (Have had for awhile but hasn't been able to get to it yet)
2. Mocking Jay
3. Catching Fire
4. Wake by Amanda Hocking
5. 13 to Life by Shannon Delany
6. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

Obviously that's more than my goal of 4 but I might just skip over Mocking Jay and Catching Fire but haven't decided yet only because I haven't read the first one yet.

There is still time to join this reading challenge if you are interested. If you meet your class you get entered to win a free book (each price goes by class you acheive). Head on over to this page HERE at Roof Beam Reader and take a look!

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